Once again, summer is upon us. You wouldn’t know it with all the rain we have had! Summer is a wonderful time of year where people spend more time outside grilling, playing, swimming, and enjoying time with loved ones. Summer is also a time where schedules change to accommodate more recreation and vacation.
Summer is also an exciting season in the life of our church. Although some of our ministries take a break, there are other ministries that ramp up during the summer months. In less than two weeks, we will embark on the busiest week of our year with Grace Gives. Hundreds of our church members will be mobilized to saturate our community with the gospel through sharing and serving. If you haven’t signed up yet, we still need your help! Please check out our Grace Gives page and sign up here.
After Grace Gives is over, Pastor Bill will be leading a team of about thirty people down to Houston to partner with one of our missionaries, Kim Williams, for a week of intense ministry. Please pray for their trip. We have several summer camps for our pre-teens and teens. Please pray that children and teens will encounter the living God and receive the gift of eternal life. In July, I will be speaking at CityReach, a week-long trip for high-school and college students. And, of course, each week we will gather together every Sunday as a corporate body to celebrate our risen Savior, Jesus Christ.
This summer, I am asking you to do three things: pray, give, rejoice.
Would you pray fervently for the gospel work that will take place this summer? Whether you are in town or out of town, remember the call to be “constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12). Apart from the Spirit’s power, we can do nothing. Pray for your pastors, pray for the various ministries, pray for our missionaries, and pray for our church family. So gather with your family, grab your roommate, or get together with your small group, and pray that God would be glorified as we make fully devoted followers of Christ.
Pray that God would keep his promise to meet all of our needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus. To that end, would you pray that God would move in each of our hearts to free us from whatever is holding us back from giving generously, consistently, and cheerfully.
For the many who are already giving, I want to say thank you. Thank you for loving the gospel enough to prioritize financial giving. Through your faithful giving, the fame of Jesus Christ is made known here and around the world. Thank you so much. I’m sure there are some who, for whatever reason, are giving sparingly or not at all. Giving is a spiritual discipline that grows your faith and draws you closer to Christ. I challenge you to start giving or giving more generously. I can tell you, God is faithful, he will provide for you as you step out in faith. I am confident that if every member of Grace gave generously, consistently, and cheerfully, we could easily meet our budget needs for the rest of the year.
Would you give generously for the sake of gospel advance this summer?
Our church budget ends August 31. So, we have just entered the fourth quarter of our church budget year. By God’s grace, we are at 97% of our budget goal for the year. However, that means we are about $50,000 dollars below our year to date goal. That’s a challenge for us because the summer months tend to have lower overall giving.
I am asking that you would remember to give joyfully, generously, and consistently, even as you enjoy the wonderful blessings of summer. We are not to give because we are pressured, but because we find joy in showing that Jesus is our greatest treasure, not money. We offer a number of convenient options for you to give. You can check out our giving page here for more information.
Finally, I invite you to rejoice. Rejoice that through your giving, we get to teach almost 200 children the gospel and God’s Word every week through AWANA’s. Rejoice that through your giving, teenagers are coming to faith and growing in their faith through our student ministries. Rejoice that every day, ministries are taking place in both of our campuses that are helping to develop fully devoted followers of Christ. Rejoice that through your giving, we get to radically serve our community through Grace Gives. And rejoice that through your giving, we get to partner with missionaries all over the world. We have missionaries in hard to reach places like the Middle East and Southeast Asia. And we support church planters like the Seiferths in Harrisburg, PA and the Knights in Tumwater, WA. Every month, they count on our faithful partnership to enable them to proclaim to the nations the greatest news ever — that Jesus Christ is Lord.
So, please pray, give, and rejoice with me as we collectively follow Jesus into our homes, our community, and our world. God is at work in mighty ways. I am glad to partner with you in this good work.