Each year as Christmas approaches, we have the opportunity to celebrate the greatest gift ever given – that God sent His only Son into this world to be our Savior. This year, during the Christmas season, out of joy and gratitude, we are once again taking up our special Christmas offering, The Gift. This year our special offerings will be stewarded in a few different directions so that we might bless many people in a number of ways.
- We desire to be a blessing by providing for families within our own congregation & community who are currently struggling financially and in need of help this season. We will be assisting some families that – without our help – would not be able to have many of the basic things we enjoy at Christmas: a healthy meal, the delight of a Christmas tree, and the joy of being able to give one another gifts.
- We will provide several families with Christmas Boxes through King’s Table, ensuring that no one’s pantry is depleted during Christmas. This will go above and beyond our regular budget and monthly aid through King’s Table.
- We will continue supporting and investing in our church planting partners. Very specifically, we will be giving support to our Acts 29 church planting partners in Southside (Aim Church) and Decatur (New Eden Church), and a new church planting partner in Seattle, Awakening Church. Along with our financial gifts, we are also looking to send a team to Seattle in the near future to assist Awakening Church with some important community ministry efforts.
- We have the opportunity to support 2 of our former students, Blake Silver and Haley McCoy, as they will both be stepping out in faith this year in self-supported ministry roles. Blake is serving with Grace Auburn as a Pastoral Intern (and getting married in January), while Haley will ultimately end up in Queens, NY, serving with Global Gates, working to reach the Sikh people group there.
- We will continue to invest in our global mission partners in India & Nepal. As we support the International Mission Board, E3, Wycliffe, and Mountain Child, we are providing opportunities to train & equip people to share the good news of the gospel, funding the translation of God’s Word into peoples’ native tongue, supporting missionaries who are in the field and doing the work of sharing the gospel and advancing the Kingdom.
In Matthew 25, Jesus said that when we see the hungry and give them something to eat, or we see the stranger and welcome him, or we see the naked and clothe them – “as you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
In James 2:14-16, James goes on to say: “Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, and you say, ‘Well, goodbye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well’ – but then you don’t give that person food or clothing. What good does that do?”
Our faith is evidenced by our actions, our love, and our generosity – by responding to the needs of others. In light of this, as we move into this holiday season and reflect on all that we have to be thankful and grateful for in our lives and in our church, we’d like to ask you to begin praying now over how the Lord might be calling you to partner with us as we bring The Gift – a gift that blesses others in unspeakable ways.
Know that when we erase someone’s fear of hunger, we give them hope.
When we walk alongside someone in times of trouble, we give them dignity.
When we train someone to share the gospel, we are advancing the Kingdom of God.
What a gift!
This year we are praying – and believing – that the Lord is going to do something incredible through this opportunity. We are not only asking you to pray, but to believe and to give with audacious faith; a faith dependent on God to move, provide, and to come through as we give for the sake of others and the Kingdom! With this in mind, we are setting a church-wide goal of $45,000 this year for The Gift.
Special envelopes will be available beginning on Sunday, November 29th, in your worship bulletin or at the Welcome Center counter. That said, you can now not only give toward The Gift in person by dropping your envelope in the offering boxes in the back of the Worship Center, but also through online giving, available through the website. Please note: You can begin turning in your offerings for The Gift earlier than December 6th, but we will not begin a public collection until that Sunday. Please pray about generously joining us as we make a difference in the lives of others for the sake of the Kingdom of God…as we bring The Gift.
To be clear, we have now budgeted for our local and global mission efforts, as well as the financial partnerships we have established with many of our Missions partners. In those instances, our gifts will be above and beyond those budget dollars.
Friends, we know that this has been the year of the pandemic. Let’s change that! Many are still reeling, hurting, and longing for a ray of hope to burst forth into their view. Let’s come together and make that happen. Thank you for joining with us to partner in the gospel, to be a light in the darkness, to minister to those in need, and in living intentionally to bring God’s Kingdom everywhere we go!