Friday, September 12, 2008

The Year in Review: Life-Change Story #8

One of the greatest joys I've had this year has been leading a church that is so generous and excited about blessing our community. Not long after we launched in September, our elders decided it would be fun to call December our "season of giving" and spend four weeks giving away $10,000 to our city and to other churches in light of all that God given us in sending His Son.

So, we gave a few thousand dollars away to our people in $20 bills and asked them to bless someone they knew that needed help. We also decided to have representatives from local ministries that we support (Texas Baptist Children's Home, Agape Pregnancy Resource Center, Round Rock Serving Center, and the YMCA) come and share in our service about the work they are doing. We presented each organization with a check from our church to help support their work.

The coolest part of Season of Giving was when we called church-planters around the city and went to meet them with a financial gift from our church. The church-plants were not part of our network, and many were overwhelmed that we had decided to give support to their works. It was an awesome time.

In the spring, we decided to host two teacher-appreciation breakfasts for the teachers at two local schools - the high school in our backyard and the middle school not far from there. Needless to say, the faculty were very encouraged by our gesture of good will to them. And our people out-did themselves in putting together an awesome breakfast.

Just this past month in August, as I was preaching through the end of Isaiah, I did a message on how God's justice will be restored in the future kingdom. The main point was that as God's people today we can give people a taste of the justice that is coming by becoming an advocate for those who have not advocate. Our board stepped out in faith again and decided to give away half of that week's offering to support justice ministries around the world. We were blessed to be able to give away $6500 that week.

One of the greatest joys this past year has been seeing our church learn to be a truly generous community.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Sounds great!
I know from personal experience how much the teachers enjoyed your appreciation!
reading about what all has been happening this year. Doesn't seem like we ever have enough time to talk about everything when we come to visit.
Love, Mom