April 14, 2020
April 14, 2020
Hope you are doing well. We all had another first, a Drive-In Easter service. It was so good seeing all of you. Man I miss you all. I think we all can’t wait to finally get back together and worship our Lord. That’s going to be a good day.
I wanted to circle back around to something I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. One of the decisions that we have been praying through as a leadership and invited you all to pray with us about is our current financial status and what would God have us do. With layoffs and job losses rising in America, we are very aware of the need to be cautious in managing the finances at Freshwater. I imagine most of us have heard of the CARES Act from Congress that helps out small businesses and non-profits. As a leadership, the Elder Board has unanimously chosen NOT to accept the loan/grant for several reasons:
- God calls believers to worship Him by giving sacrificially to Him and by bringing that gift to the church where we worship. This is how God has set up provision for the church. As it stands, not everyone at Freshwater is giving, and some maybe don’t understand both this command and the blessing in it. To accept aid would allow us to dismiss this expectation from God to give and sit back and let “someone else do it.” So then what happens when the eight weeks is over? We’re still in the same place of needing people to obey and trust in God’s provision.
- The CARES Act stipulates that people “act in good faith” that they have a need they cannot meet. Given our spending reductions, savings account, and recent offerings, we don’t believe we can ask for aid “in good faith.” Just because the aid is there doesn’t mean we should take it. It would not be in “good faith.”
- Finally, the ultimate factor was that in our times of prayer prior to meeting and then when we came together, it became very clear that none of us have a “peace” from the Spirit about this. We have learned through the years to listen to the Spirit and not push passed that leading especially when all seven elders (and myself) have that same sense. It may not even make sense especially in light of other Christians and churches choosing to accept it, but there it is. We just can’t move forward.
Offerings for the last few weeks have been very strong. There were some “one-time” gifts and then a number of people who said they jumped into giving after hearing the need at the congregational meeting two weeks ago. Freshwater, God can provide. He really can. He can provide for us as a church and in our own homes. If you are not giving, let me invite you to begin that journey of obedience and faith and watch Him provide not only for you but also for our church. And, even more importantly, you are going to open a whole experience of worship inherent in giving Him your tithe.