God’s love for the church is a mystery beyond our understanding. During the first week of our Extravagant Generosity program, we heard the witnesses of what people loved about First UMC. We heard words and phrases like the worship services, the music ministry, my Sunday School class and/or teacher, youth ministry, the pastors and staff. Our hearts were inspired by expressions of love for our church, shared by members.
God works in many ways. One way we experience God is through people. Our strong bonds of fellowship within our church family nurture meaningful relationships, which influence our lives in a great way. During the second week of the program, members were invited to share, “Who has made a difference in your spiritual life?” People shared stories about a Sunday School teacher, a greeter, a pastor, a youth leader who took time to share with them about God’s love in tangible ways. For me, it was my 3rd grade Sunday school teacher who took a special interest in a group of 3rd and 4th graders, and purchased each member a Bible and magazine.
This week, you will be given the opportunity to share your vision and hope for our church. Hopes and vision are crucial. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)
During worship on our last Sunday, November 13, you will have an opportunity to respond to the question, “What is God asking you to do?” You will receive more information in the mail.
During Extravagant Generosity, I hope you have pondered God’s generosity expressed to us through his Son Jesus Christ, through God’s gifts and blessings given to us and through the ministry of our local church. Generosity is not about how wealthy we are or how big our bank accounts are; it is about our hearts. Jesus’ response to the widow’s offering shows that it is a heart matter when he said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:3-4)
Generosity is a tool which helps us to grow into disciples of Jesus Christ.
I want to encourage you to continue reading the Practicing Extravagant Generosity: Daily Readings on the Grace of Giving devotional book. If you do not have a copy, you may pick one up in the office.