This last Sunday, after the morning worship service, our church had its annual meeting. It is at these meetings that we vote in our next years budget and take care of other matters of business. Well this year, we had four big motions that needed to be voted upon.
- The 2020 Annual Budget.
- The 2020 Elders.
- A constitutional amendment.
- A decision regarding our surplus giving.
And by God’s grace each of the motions passed almost unanimously. I am so blessed to have such amazing leaders to work alongside. With their wisdom and effort we had presented the constitutional amendment back in March of 2019. The purpose of this amendment was to move from a “Management Team” to having Deacons. We believe that biblically qualified deacons are an integral process of meeting the physical needs of the church body. By introducing this transition so many months ago it gave us plenty of time to meet with people one-on-one and answer any questions they might have. As elders, we wanted to make sure the entire congregation not only understood but also embraced this change.
The other motions were all presented in our annual meeting packet five weeks ahead of the meeting (3 weeks earlier than required by our constitution). This gave us plenty of time talk about these motions on Sunday mornings and to meet with people individually.
In 1 Peter 5:2 we read, “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have, not for shameful gain, but eagerly…” This verse reminds us that the church is first and foremost God’s flock. Therefore we ought to depend upon His wisdom and seek to care for the church in a way that would honor and glorify Him. It is for this reason we as elders strive to handle these business meetings with humility and wisdom.
The last motion regarding our surplus giving was probably the most exciting. God has greatly blessed our finances this year. And so we voted to use some of the money in order to complete a project that had been going on for several years. And then the rest of the money that exceeds our budget (which is more than what the project required) we are going to give away to an amazing missionary who has struggled for quite some time with finances. We are currently preaching through the book of James, and in James 2:14-16 we read,
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that?
The truly exciting fact, is that our church was completely on board with helping to meet the needs of a fellow brother. This last year our small church has given away over $25,000 to meet the needs of local and global ministries and other organizations. Our church is eager to be generous with others because of the greater generosity we have been shown in Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 8:9
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
I realize the reason our church has grown in its love for God and is zealous to be generous with finances has little to do with the wisdom of the elders and everything to do with God’s presence. And so my prayer for our church is what the apostle Paul prayed in Ephesians 3:14–21
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.