New Year for ABC

ABCers, with the new fiscal year (our church year runs from September-September) quickly approaching, there are 5 things I would like to share with you today.

1. Remember that we have less than $11,000 to go before we are completely debt-free as a church. As it stands, we are scheduled to pay off the FLC loan in January, but the finance team would really like for us to get this paid off before the new fiscal year starts. Why is that? B/C it will free up $1,600 cash flow every single month. I know that we can go above and beyond our normal tithes and offerings to pay off this small debt and begin our new budget year in a better financial position. I said from the pulpit last Sunday that we need 40 people to give $275 between now and August 26. Please prayerfully seek how God would have you give toward this initiative.

2. Finances is not the only area in church life that cycles this time of year. The Church Counsel has been meeting, trying very hard to fill some much-needed ministry team vacancies and support roles. God gifts members in the church for a reason: to serve Him and edify the church body. Let’s all be sensitive to the Holy Spirit to see if He may be calling us to serve the church on one of these ministry teams.

3. We live in a real world, along with 7 billion other real people who have real problems. As we’ve been studying the book of Acts on Sunday mornings, it is obvious that we need to be seeing how we can meet people at their place of need and share both the love of Christ and the gospel message with them. God calls each of us to live our lives on purpose for the sake of His kingdom. Let’s answer that call this new year… let’s commit to live our lives on purpose. That means God will give us opportunities to meet people at their place of need and engage them with the gospel message. It will very rarely be convenient for us, but if we are committed to living on purpose for the kingdom of God, we’ll be able to set aside our inconveniences and act on our calling. Let’s live on purpose this year.

4. Prayer. We cannot and will not be effective in God’s kingdom cause without a greater dependency on Him. In prayer this year, let’s remember our great dependency on God in every aspect of life. Let’s commit to being a people of prayer. Can you find one or two people with whom to pray together once a week? I would like for every ABCer to be part of a prayer group (outside the church walls and your immediate family – those are givens) at least once every week. Maybe another family near you. Maybe some close ABC friends. It could just be one other person, or possibly a small group of people. Set aside time to pray together. Pray for your family and other ABC families. Pray for your pastor, youth/music minister, and other ministry teams and team leaders. Pray for your church. For direction, vision, wisdom, unity, and boldness. Pray.

5. Commit. It’s great to have vacations and time away from it all. My family is planning one or two soon as well. Go on those vacations and be refreshed. But when you are in town, commit to meeting with your church family. When school starts back, we generally have mixed psychological effects. On the one hand, it is nice to get back in a routine. On the other hand, with football, basketball, band, cheerleading, long teaching hours, preparation, daycare, and a million other things, our “free time” (if that really exists) gets filled up very quickly. Try to make church a priority. It is very difficult to get a good grip on the direction and purpose of our church if you’re not here with us. Almost always, I find that when I am really tired or worn out from a busy week or weekend, and I honestly would rather sit at home and vegetate instead of going to church… when I do go, I am surprisingly refreshed. There will be days you can’t come. But try to make corporate worship and church-family fellowship a priority in your life. You may be surprised at how much of a difference it will make in your hectic schedule when you faithfully carve time out for the Lord and His church.

Love you all! I’m itching with anticipation to see where God is going to lead us over the next 12 months and beyond!

Grace and Peace,

Tony