Year End Giving

Photo by David Everett Strickler on Unsplash

Early in November, God started to stir in me a determination to approach year end giving differently this year than we ever have before as a church. Like many churches and nonprofits, we build our annual budget with the hope of increased giving in the month of December. To be specific, this year we are trusting God for $70,000 in December giving to fund our normal operating expenses. But I also felt like God had given me a desire to see our church give $25,000 to ministry partners in this city and around the world. So, I asked our directional elders if they would agree to a new approach to December giving: as soon as we hit our $70,000 goal, we commit to giving away the next $25,000 in December giving. They were totally on board and we’ve been sharing this vision with the people of Restoration City all month long.

Specifically, we’re praying for the opportunity to partner with five different ministries and be a part of five specific projects:

  • Casa Chirilagua: Provide food assistance to the Chirilagua community that has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.
  • Redeemer Queen’s Park: Help this London church plant print and distribute 20,000 copies of the Gospel of Mark in 2021.
  • Three Roots International: Help start a new kindergarten in a rural Ethiopian village.
  • New Hope Initiative: Provide new desks for students at the school New Hope created in Kibera, a massive slum outside of Nairobi.
  • The Summit Collaborative: Invest in North American church planting through our family of churches.

In all of this, my most consistent prayer has been one that I’m borrowing from Moses:

Let your work be seen by your servants, and your splendor by their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; establish for us the work of our hands—establish the work of our hands!

Psalm 90:16-17 (CSB)

To be clear, the idea of giving away $25,000 is not a show of financial strength for us as a church. It’s an act of faith and dependance. It’s a way of fighting against fear, scarcity, complacency, and selfishness. It’s about opening up an opportunity for God to show His power to His children by doing something that seems next to impossible amidst the uncertainty and turmoil of 2020.

If you would like to join us in blessing these ministries, head over to rcc.church/give.

Happy New Year, friends. Praying we will all walk together in humility, trust, and faith in 2021.

Merry Christmas

I remember freaking out when it became clear that the pandemic was going to impact Easter. If you would have told me it was going to impact Christmas as well, I think I would have lost all hope! Yet, here we are, nine months into a global pandemic and I find myself hopeful. Not just because vaccines are rolling out but because everything we celebrate at Christmas is true.

The Son of God stepped into a dark and broken world to offer light and life.

“In him was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.”

John 1:4-5 (CSB)

Everything our souls are longing for is found in this Child of Christmas, this One who makes the angels sing. On that first Christmas, a multitude of angels sang a song that I find myself praying over my family, our church, and you this Christmas.

Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!

Luke 2:14 (CSB)

I pray we will find the freedom and joy of self-forgetfulness. I pray we will taste the grace that enables us to relax, to stop taking everything so personally, to recover a bit of civility, and to trust that God is still at work in the world. When we realize that our lives are about God and His glory, everything else seems to fall into place.

And I pray you find peace. Maybe that means a few days of freedom from email and cable news. Maybe that means time to rest and set aside the anxiety and uncertainty we’re all facing in this season. Ultimately, I pray that means the peace that comes from knowing that in Christ God has done everything necessary for our salvation.

At the end of the day, glory and peace are two sides of the same coin. The more we live for God’s glory, the more our souls find peace.

Merry Christmas, friends.