On Sunday, February 2nd, we came together as a congregation to personally pledge our financial support for the full ministry program of Christ UMC in 2020. We believe God desires us to perform great works through our congregation in the months ahead, and we need your financial support to activate the vision God has given us.
The first vow we make as a member of the church is to pray. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that we are to “pray without ceasing.” Prayer is how we communicate with God, and as such, it is the channel through which our relationship with God grows and deepens. When you are talking to God, you are praying – it’s that simple. Being faithful in your prayer is to be faithful in engaging in regular communication with God. Being generous in your prayer is to pray for others. When we pray for the members of our church, we engage in the kind of prayer that undergirds our connection as a body of believers. The word for that kind of prayer is intercession. We are called to intercede for one another in our prayers. We are also encouraged to be generous in our prayers for people who don’t know Jesus. These are evangelistic prayers, and they are an example of what it means to have a mature prayer life. Every single day we have more opportunities to pray than we could count. So as you look toward 2020, will you be faithful and generous with your prayers?
When we join the church, we make a vow to be faithful to God with our presence. We unpack that vow at our church by declaring that being faithful with our presence involves being in worship every Sunday we are neither sick nor out of town. So we are inviting you to be faithful AND generous with your presence in 2020. That means that being faithful with your presence involves more than just one hour per week. It involves more than just attendance at Sunday’s or Thursday’s worship service. It means being in a small group, volunteering with a ministry, coming to a service but staying late to greet at another. Some churches call it, Worship + 1. We call it being generous with your presence. How will you be faithful and generous with your presence in 2020?
God has given each one of us certain gifts that we are invited and encouraged use for His glory. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 says that “there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God produces each gift in each person.” You have been given gifts by God that are useful for the expansion of His kingdom on earth. What gifts has God given you? To help you with answer that question, consider that EVERYTHING you have has been given to you by God. Here’s the thing, though… What God has given you isn’t really YOURS. What God has given you is HIS. In short, He has invited you to be a good steward of what He has given you for His glory; that includes your talents, your skills, your abilities, your time, and your finances. The question is: How will you be faithful and generous with the gifts God has given you? Being faithful in your use of those gifts will lead you down a path to put them to use in a responsible way. Being generous in your use of those gifts will involve a level of sacrifice. What sacrifice is He calling you to make in the coming year with regard to the stewardship of the gifts He has given you?
Service is putting the gifts God has given you into action. That is the invitation given to every follower of Jesus. Consider it to be our call - to be generous with our gifts, and then to be the hands and feet of Christ with the gifts He’s given us. In most churches, 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. We want to be a church where 100% of the work is done by 100% of the people, and that means being generous with your service. There are countless ways that you can be faithful and generous with your service within the programs and ministries of our congregation. Will you serve with a spirit of faithfulness and generosity?
Before Jesus ascended to be with the Father after the resurrection, Jesus said this to His disciples: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). That statement is known as The Great Commission, and it is the call to action for all who claim to be followers of Jesus. It is a declaration that our faith is not intended to be a private affair. We are not given the charge to sit back and observe life from the sidelines. We are called by Jesus to “Go”. And we are not simply called to go to our friends and neighbors. We are called to go to “all nations” and “make disciples”. What does that mean for you? How will being faithful and generous with the vow you’ve made to honor God with your witness change the way you spend your days?
HOW CAN I HELP RESOURCE THESE MINISTRY INITIATIVES?
You can give.
You can serve.
You can be a prayer partner for our ministries.
Click here for the 2020 Online Pledge Card.