The teachings of Jesus say that the first shall be last and the last shall be first. He was the greatest model of someone being a servant to others. This is completely contrary to a worldly view where we are taught to put ourselves first. Becoming inward is something that happens quickly in our personal lives and our churches.
As individuals, it’s a very easy process. We have an unexpected bill come in and just this once we use our offering to cover it. Pretty soon we find ourselves not giving any offering and we have become internal. All about me.
Churches can also have this happen. In our church situation, we have come out of huge hole and have gotten our head just above the water. It would be very easy to direct all of our focus on ourselves. I don’t want this to happen. Last Sunday, I challenged our congregation to begin looking and planning as to how we could give of ourselves outside our local church. We have a budget of $260,000 which essentially pays our bills. We are not doing what God has called us to do if we relax and just meet this budget! We must be on a mission to budget for more than just ourselves. What if we committed to 10% of our yearly budget for missions or is it too much to ask for the church to devote 20% ($52,000.00) of our budget to serve others? What if we decided we were going to take $26,000.00 and start a food pantry? Or a battered woman shelter? Or provide school uniforms in a 3rd world village so their children could go to school? Or buy $26,000.00 of mosquito netting for people in Africa dying from malaria. Can you imagine brainstorming on how to use $26,000.00 or 56K to serve others? I can. I see it happening and I see Union growing from it. I know we can do it, so let’s focus our prayers and our efforts to achieve this!!
Our youth have already started doing just this. They are using their offerings to sponsor a child through Compassion International. I challenge our church to follow their example.