Really Follow, For Real

“The matter is quite simple. The bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly.” – Soren Kirkegaar
When Lanell gave the message this past Sunday, she told the very compelling story of seeing a need in her community, taking action, and changing not just the lives of those she served, but of changing herself. She explained that scripture very clearly defines what our priorities are supposed to be, but growing up in church didn’t always make that clear. As she explained, the Old Testament, the teachings and practices of Jesus Christ, and the writings of Paul all point us to serving the needs of the poor, the sick, and the needy.
The history of our congregation is that of growing to serve the growing city of Woodway. The city of Woodway prospers as part of the greater Waco community. As our congregation grew out of our original space, we committed a great deal of resources to our new location and building. As wonderful as this is, we are called to serve people and we cannot let other matters get in the way of that. Our short distance from our neighbors in need does not excuse us from that call.
Our church budget for next year is almost $850,000. Of that, less than $80,000 is spent on actual ministry and most of that is focused on our own congregation. The rest we spend on our building and related debt, salaries and related compensation. By comparison, Church Under the Bridge donates over half of its budget to the needy. I have read of another church that got rid of their new building designs, pledging to spend at least as much on serving others as themselves. They decided to built an outdoor amphitheater instead and are now better able to minister to their community. When the pastor was asked about possible discomfort for church-goers he replied, “Is what we are doing of so little value that we won’t put up with a little inconvenience?
Along with our big budget for next year, we will be starting a new way of dealing with our financial matters. If you have been a part of Financial Peace University that we have been offering for the last couple of years, you will be familiar with the process. It is a system designed to get us, our families and our congregation, past the burden of dealing with money and into a place where we can follow God’s call to ministry unencumbered.
This stuff, this Good News, that we claim to follow can be very freeing if we actually take it seriously. It is when we try to control and tame our God, when we undermine and shortcut the teachings and practices of Jesus Christ that we run into trouble. We are called. Give us the courage to follow. Give us the courage.
Be Blessed!

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What’s this then?

I've had a strange relationship with faith for as long as I can remember. My journey has gone from doing what I was told, to questioning, to doubting, to abandon, to wonder, to play along, to work against, to open up, to change, to embrace, to wonder, to doubt, to work towards, and to keep searching for better answers. Our various understandings of faith are deeply personal. Sharing those understandings can be very helpful to ourselves as well as others.

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