If you haven't heard yet, Community is in the midst of some financial stress. A combination of accounting errors, less income from tithes and offerings, and poor leadership on my part has led us into a financial hole. The Session and Diaconate have both responded with tremendous grace and wisdom and I'm more than confident we'll weather this storm ... just as we've had to do in the past. We can be assured that the sky is not falling and our bills will all get paid in due time. Any funds that are owed to particular ministries will all be repaid and Community will again soon be in solid financial shape. And keep in mind, even with our financial difficulties at this time, we remain debt free and our ministries are still operating smoothly. But we may face some tough times in the short term and really have to demonstrate our dependance on God. We say we trust God ... we sing songs about trusting God ... we tell others we trust God ... here's an opportunity He's given us to actually do it.
How did get in this position? At one time I thought about being an accountant ... went to business school in college thinking that's what I wanted to do. But I soon found out that wasn't for me! I'm not an accountant ... my mind doesn't operate that way. So I really can't explain very well our accounting procedures here at CPC ... I leave that to greater minds. But I can address the two other reasons why this has happened: lower tithes/offerings and my poor leadership.
As God's people we're called to give our resources to the work of Christ's bride, the church. Passages such as Malachi 3:6-12; 1 Cor 16:2; and 2 Cor 8:1-15, 9:6-15 give us great teaching on how and why we should give. The why is clear ... because of God's grace that has already been given to us. But we should also consider Jesus' teaching in Matt 6:19-21 where He says, "For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also." Here's an application to consider - if you want your heart to be more in line with Christ, sacrificially invest your resources (time, energy, gifts, and finances) in the work of Christ's church! You'll surely find your heart much more attached to spiritual things when you've invested your hard earned money in Kingdom business! If you're not tithing, please consider starting that discipline in your life. God's Word assures us that it's a blessing for us to do so. We give not because God needs the money (if He did He would simply take it). We give in order to enjoy Christ and proclaim our thanks for His blessings and grace.
I can also address my poor leadership. Those who know me realize I'm pretty "laid back" and am not a "micro-manager" of those who work alongside me here at church. But that does not and should not excuse me from exercising the necessary oversight for the various ministries of CPC. And while I realize all elders have that responsibility, I actually get paid to do it. And for my failure in leadership I must say "I'm sorry, please forgive me." I would ask that you pray for me and the other elders and deacons as we continue to lead CPC into the future.
Quinn Hill is preaching this Sunday from Romans 1:16. Please prayerfully meditate on this familiar verse and come on Sunday ready for God's Spirit to continue His work of grace in your heart.