23 Dec Year-end Challenge
Every Tuesday morning our staff gathers for a weekly meeting. I love this time that we share together. My favorite part of this gathering is how we open each time, by sharing celebrations of what God is doing at First Christian. We tell stories of life change, celebrate baptisms, and cheer each other on. It’s amazing. I thought I’d start this letter in a similar fashion, by celebrating the work God has done in 2016:
• To date we’ve seen 122 people give themselves to Jesus in baptism! New life never gets old!
• We’ve also seen 600 individuals be connected in some sort of community or group at FCC this year!
• We quadrupled the amount of FCCers that went on short term mission trips over last year!
• We launched a College Age Ministry to reach the thousands of students in StarkCounty who are far from Jesus!
• Our Children’s Ministry has grown by nearly 37% in the past 12 months!
• Over 2,000 people from our community attended our annual FunFest!
• We fed 10,228 people through our Harvest Meal on Thanksgiving Day!
• We provided free clothing for anywhere from 500-1000 individuals per month through our Common Goods ministry!
I could go on, but I think you get the point. God is working here. So, let me pause for a moment to say thank you for your part in that. If Jesus is the heart of the Church, you are the blood coursing through it’s veins. I am regularly humbled and overwhelmed at the honor I have in serving alongside you. That being said, we also recognize that God has more work to do through FCC. As a leadership, we look forward to 2017 being a year of even more growth, life change, and community transformation.
Currently, we are 1% behind our year-to-date budget. That breaks down to around $17,000 dollars. When I initially began thinking through this letter I thought I would petition our people to simply help us close this gap and end the year once more in the black. However, as I began praying through what I would communicate, I felt God lay on my heart a bigger, God-sized, vision. What if we didn’t merely close that 1% gap? What if we sought for something of greater magnitude? What if we ended the year financially in a way that set us up for even greater ministry opportunities in 2017?
So, here’s the challenge, FCC: $100,000.
We want to raise, over and above our $17,000 shortfall, another $100,000. As I mentioned earlier, we believe this will set us up for even greater ministry opportunities going forward. We believe this investment will help bring more people to Jesus. We believe it will help more individuals put down roots in our faith community. It will help to send more of FCC members on short-term mission trips. It will continue to equip and resource our exploding Children’s Ministry. I know $100,000 seems like a lot of money… because it is!
Think about it this way: that’s 1,000 of our people giving $100 above their regular tithes and offerings. Some of you may feel compelled to give more than that. Go for it! Others may not be in a season where that is possible, and that’s ok too. We covet your prayers. We are simply asking you to consider what God might be calling you to do as this year comes to a close. If you believe in what God is doing at First Christian, we pray that you will partner with us in this unique year-end challenge. Thank you in advance for your generosity. Please continue to pray for God’s outpouring on FCC.
(To give online simply visit fcccanton.com/give.)
With anticipation of what’s to come,