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Enjoy The Journey

Friday Thoughts

Does the economy scare you right now? We’ve written about this a lot, but yesterday I had the unique opportunity of spending the day with 10 other church planters and the Lead Pastor of mountain lake church (www.mountainlakechurch.com). I spend a day each month with these guys, and he and his executive pastor coach us through the rigors of starting a church. I’ve been in school more days than I can count, been to more conferences, read more books and attended many mentoring groups – but this one day experience is one of the best things that I have done. These guys started a church 10 years ago with no one – and now they’re running several thousand – an amazing story. Funny thing is – their pattern of growth and development resembles our pattern too. Yesterday the subject of discussion and coaching was money. When the topic was announced there was a unanimous groan in the group (I thought congregations hated hearing about money – not as much as these guys).

We discussed the hardships of the economy, how that is effecting the church, how do we encourage people to give to the vision/mission of the church, and how do we make ends meet as a church. During the course of the conversation I was convicted, afraid and encouraged – here’s why:

1) I was convicted because I don’t know if I say this enough – but for those of us who are faithful in giving – I truly am appreciative for your sacrifice. For Sarah Beth and me – it is a monthly sacrifice – I know for many of you it is to, and I realize that I don’t build you up enough in this area. You guys are great – and when you give – you are giving to the mission of bringing truth and people together. I was also convicted – maybe convicted is not the word – I was prayerful for many of you because I know that times are tough right now, and when you drop an envelope in the basket, mail in a check or go online and give – you are making a serious sacrifice. I know that times are uncertain – but the Bible promises that when you ask for his peace – He will give it to you. I’m praying that for you today.

2) I was fearful because – according to the pastor and his discussions with the executives – the economy is going to get worse before it gets better. Ok – that is scary – because the economy pretty well stinks right now. But – referring back to a blog a few weeks ago “God didn’t give us a spirit of fear” (II Timothy 1:7). It may get worse – but what an opportunity for the church to shine.

3) I was encouraged – and this is the biggie – 30 days ago I challenged our church to a 90 day challenge: 1) Tithe if you’re not, and 2) Add 1% to your tithe if you are. Here is what is encouraging: We are having the best month of the year in our offering. How can this be? Doesn’t the economy stink and there is doom and gloom ahead? And what about Christmas? It is because you give. Our offering is up $2000 a month from September – we’ve grown by 25%!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your faithfulness. That means that we can do more ministry and prepare for the future – and bring truth and people together. Continue to be faithful, continue to give – and watch God blow the doors off this place.

Have a great weekend – see you Sunday.

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