Jesus Christ is the Promised King of Israel;
Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
~~Two Pastoral Encouragements
Let us “press on toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
I have two pieces of encouraging news for you. Both have to do with current dynamics in our life together. Both invite us to “press on” in response to God’s call in Christ.
The first relates to the Expanding Our Serve campaign. As you recall, our leaders have set for us a range goal of $2.5-3.5 million in this campaign, to be applied toward the ~$5.8 million that we owe on our facility. Recently our consultant, Art Fuller, ran an analysis of giving patterns at Stone Hill. The results were greatly encouraging, and I share some of the results as both a thank-you and a motivation to “press on”:
As of December 31, 2013, giving to GO! exceeded the pledged amount. This happens in less than half of churches that have capital campaigns. And since the end of last year, almost $100K more has rolled in. Note also that over fifty non-pledgers gave a combined amount of over $200K to GO!
Meanwhile, more congregants are giving to the general fund, and the average donation per year is increasing. Again, these numbers are not typical of most churches.
These numbers indicate that the congregation is eagerly supporting and participating in the life and vision of the church.
May these encouragements help all of us give robustly and sacrificially toward God’s kingdom work at Stone Hill.
Secondly, I share some news from the Elder Board. Since our relocation to the new facility, there have been increased pressures on our organizational structure. Think of the situation as a vine and a trellis (a metaphor I borrow from a book entitled, not surprisingly, The Trellis and the Vine). Just as a growing vine needs an appropriately-sized trellis to support its life, so a church like ours needs an appropriately-designed organizational structure. Given all the changes and growth due to relocation, the elders have been taking a big-picture look at our church’s organizational structure, working with people in-house who have experience in organizational design. You’ll hear more about this initiative in the months ahead. In the meantime, your prayers are appreciated.