I am sitting here in my office on a Monday morning shaking my head in awestruck wonder at the faithfulness of our God. I know I shouldn’t be but I can’t help it. God is just so amazing and His hand of provision, favor, and protection has rested heavily upon this 18 month old baby church plant called City on a Hill Church. Two core values come to mind as I sit here typing this morning. They are always in my heart but when they flesh themselves out daily I’m still incredibly and humbly amazed. The first core value is that we are blessed to be a blessing. COAH believes and every member of COAH believes this core value and we walk it out in our daily lives. When God is your benefactor one of the biggest benefits is generosity. We can not help but be generous when we recognize just how generous God has been to us. We can not help but live our lives in a way that expresses just how blessed we are. I have to share a couple stories that as a pastor have warmed my heart and made me very proud to pastor COAH. There is a single mom in our church with two precious children. She found herself in need. Before COAH could step in and do anything another wonderful lady in Christ got wind of the need and took them shopping and provided more than just their basic need. Glory to God! Isn’t that just amazing? But it doesn’t stop there. I know of another brother in Christ who wanted to minister to young lady who is pregnant so he and his girlfriend take this young expectant mother shopping for baby clothes even before the baby arrives. Praise God! These are just two stories of folks in our congregation recognizing God is their benefactor and living out the core value of being blessed to be a blessing. This happens on a church wide level as well. November 13 we will have our third Stuff Swap. A Stuff Swap is like a yard sale without the exchanging of money. If you have stuff you think others will benefit from we bring it bring it and put it on tables and if you see stuff you need you take it. It is an Acts 2 kind of event. Imagine that! Blessed to be a blessing. We’ve had two so far in our church’s history and they have just been amazing. When God is your benefactor we don’t need to hoard instead we learn to trust. We also do something that is a total God thing around the holidays. It is something some pastors would call us crazy for. It takes audacious faith to do but hey if anybody can do it let them. We like God sized assignments because He gets all of the glory. Every year we do the “Christmas Blessing”. Here is how it works without fail there are people in our congregation, and yours, who are looking to be blessed to be a blessing around the holidays. They are always looking for a way to help a family who is less fortunate. Conversely, without fail there are always families within our church, any church for that matter, who find themselves in need because life happens at the speed of life. What we do is try and anonymously put these families together. The family that wants to be a blessing and the family in need. Now here is where we get down to brass tacks. When you make that kind of public statement within the church you must be willing to back it up and help every family that needs help. The trustee board and I knew the gamble and we bet it all on Jesus last year and guess what happened? Yup! You guessed it we never even had to reach into the church’s account because so many folks stepped up to be blessed to be a blessing. We were fully prepared to trust God as our benefactor. Every time it looked like we would need to take care of a family God would speak to another family’s heart and they would get the honor and privilege of meeting that family’s needs. It was amazing. There was no pressure on us and all the pressure was on God:) That is the benefit of having a heavenly benefactor. People are not resources to be used up and discarded. People are people and deserve love and respect not to be strapped with a heavy yoke. God is our benefactor and He uses people to be a blessing. The big lesson here is trust God to speak to people’s heart. Trust God to provide manna from heaven. Trust God to meet the needs in your congregation. Don’t preach guilt and condemnation, preach Jesus! He changes lives by changing hearts. When Jesus has the hearts of the people in your church they don’t just give a percentage to God they give their whole lives to God everything they have and everything they don’t have. Some pastors will read this blog and go have an anxiety attack! When I tell pastors I don’t check the giving records that is between God and His people they look at me like I have two heads! Call me crazy but God is the benefactor of City on a Hill Church. We are blessed to be a blessing! I have never seen the righteous forsaken or God’s seed begging for bread. We are called to be wise stewards. Do I care about giving? You better believe it! The first gift we give is our heart to Christ. When we has our heart He has it all. We can not help give when we have a true authentic life changing encounter with Jesus Christ. I don’t want to give God 10% I want to give God 110% of everything I am. That comes out in a combination of time, talent, and treasure. God has given us all a certain amount time, talent, and treasure and He expects us to use it for His glory to make Him known in our city. Two core values: We are blessed to be a blessing and God is our benefactor not man. We must be careful to never limit what God can do by how many people are in our pews [seats, whatevs] or how much money goes in the plates weekly or monthly. The benefits of having a heavenly benefactor frees us to live our lives to the glory in such a way that all glory goes to Him and everybody who looks can see the greatness and the goodness of our amazing God. Just this week we had another incredible gift come in and bless us. Every time we have stepped out in faith, every time we have focused on accomplishing God’s purposes in our church and city God opens up the windows of heaven and pours out His blessings. I sit here in my office totally awestruck at God’s provision. I feel like I am living in a Bible story and have been for the past 18 months. You can’t make this stuff up guys. In April of 2010 I named this blog Showing Off because God wasn’t just Showing Up in my life and in the life of City on a Hill Church He has been Showing Off to His glory. God’s purposes can not be thwarted check out Job 42:2! Be encouraged!
The Benefits of a Heavenly Benefactor