I have the privilege of serving as our church’s finance manager for the past 14 years. It has been exciting to be on the front lines observing and accounting for Holy Trinity Anglican’s growth and kingdom impact – the construction of a new church, years of revenue growth, new ministries, more outreach and more staff as we have grown. For me, our numbers tell a story of how God has blessed us.
However, what the end result does not reflect are the multiple times that I have been concerned about our finances. We started with a small budget! With each concern each year, God has shown me that he is so much bigger than my spreadsheets. There was the time I reported a potential $30,000 shortfall in the non-pledge giving line item to the Finance Committee. A week later we received two checks from very unexpected sources, one for $20,000 and one for $10,000. Another time, we received a $300,000 capital campaign donation from another unexpected source that allowed us to meet an important financial deadline. One year, a projected $70,000 deficit became a “Faith Income” line item. And wouldn’t you know – we broke even on a cash basis that year. He has blessed us richly time and time again.
The other great part of my role is observing God at work in individuals’ lives in our midst. One of my favorite quotations is from John Wesley who said that there are actually three conversions: the conversion of the head, the conversion of the heart and then the conversion of the purse strings. So many among us faithfully, sacrificially give year after year, and I continue to be grateful for and humbled by this. Our capital campaign results serve as a testament to this. However, I get equally excited when I see a big change in giving patterns – when I receive a new pledge or a pledge that increases significantly. I am overjoyed because I know there was a transformation of the heart leading them to honor God in this way. Just as powerful is the continuation of historical giving levels despite a personal financial setback, or a family who has donated generously after the Lord has walked with them during a very difficult situation. These are not rare instances – I see them all the time.
Of course, these stories are only compelling in the context of the greatest story ever told – that God rescued us from our sin through Jesus’ crucifixion and has offered us a life of peace, joy, purpose and hope! As you pray about your pledge this year, I invite you to consider how you, as one who has inherited the kingdom of God, are contributing to the family business, so to speak. Consider, too, the story your personal finances tell.
- Does your budget reflect what your heart believes?
- What are your priorities?
- Are you honoring God’s goodness?
- Are you tipping God by giving what is left over?
If you are like me, you are concerned about balancing your budget, paying for healthcare, retirement, educational expenses and the like. God cares about these things, too, but he deserves our best, not our leftovers. He is the best bookkeeper ever, with the ability to offset our personal and financial debits with credits we can’t begin to imagine.
He provides, he saves, he redeems and he balances, and he is most worthy. I see the Holy Spirit at work among us, and I pray that we will have the resources to act on the exciting plans God has for us. Will you share your joy in the work that he has set before us by making a pledge this year?