From the Pastor – November Newsletter “Experiencing Joy in Our Finances”

 Larry Burkett was an American radio personality whose work focused on financial counsel-ing from a Christian point of view. He wrote that there were ten symptoms of financial bondage. 

• Overdue bills 

• A get rich quick attitude 

• A loss of desire to work 

• Dishonesty in financial matters 

• Greediness, always want more than you have 

• Inability to meet the basic needs of life 

• An over commitment to work 

• Self-indulgence 

• Feeling of power because you have money 

Feeling of resentment because you don’t have money 

Some reading this newsletter may fit into this. If you do, it’s very well possible that when it comes to your relationship with money, you do not experience joy. The truth is we’ve probably all felt some of these at one time or another. That reality tells us the power of money in our life. Instead of bringing us joy, our relationship with money can imprison us. This same individual dynamic can play out in the life of congregations. Quite often instead of joyfully asking the question, “How will we use the money God is giving us?”, congregations focus on questions such as, “Can we really afford to do that?” or “How are we going to pay the bills?” 

Thankfully, the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians provides us guidance on how to ex-perience joy in our finances. Throughout our fall sermon series we’ve discovered how, through the grace of Christ and the power of the Spirit of God, we can have joy in our relationships, our circumstances, our attitudes, our accomplishments, our future, and our thoughts. On Sunday, November 13, we’ll conclude with seeing how we can Experience Joy in our Finances. 

This sermon will also serve as our annual Stewardship Sermon. At the conclusion of the sermon, worshipers will be invited to make a Financial Stewardship Commitment to the ministry and mission of Grace Baptist Church for 2023. In preparation of making that com-mitment, on Sunday, November 6 worship participants will be invited to “Grow One Step” or “Grow One Percent” during our ministry moment. 

I want to close with a story. A small congregation wanted a full-time pastor but could not afford one. The church had never had a stewardship campaign. At first, they resisted, but they eventually relented and scheduled one, driven by their dream of a full-time pastor. The first year they used the stewardship program, Consecration Sunday, their contributions increased 36%! They achieved their dream of a full-time pastor. Because of a strong financial stewardship em-phasis, the morale of the entire congregation was improved. Instead of gloomy faces bemoaning what they didn’t have, that small congregation was filled with happy faces celebrating what they had achieved. In my experience, it’s much more fun to live with a happy face. 

As we enter this season of Thanksgiving and stewardship emphasis, I invite you to prayer-fully reflect on your stewardship and our congregation’s stewardship so that together we can experience joy in our finances. 

Pastor David 

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