Dr. James I. McCord (RIP), renowned President of Princeton Theological Seminary and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, was criticized for always asking for money: "All I ever hear from you is give, give, give!"
He replied, 'I have never heard of a better definition of Christianity than give, give, give. We give in gratitude for what He gave in Jesus!"
I have no hesitancies about asking for money to honor Jesus, help His children, and advance the Kingdom.
Yet knowing these are terribly tough times for many families suffering foreclosures, unemployment, under-employed, and other severe financial stresses, it's important to make a few notations.
First, everyone in our family of faith at First knows particular families in our church who have lost their homes, may lose their homes, are having problems making ends meet, and are treading the turbulent financial waters of these days. We do not expect the aforementioned to divert funds from the primary needs of their homes to support the life and ministry of the church.
Second, as we move to the conclusion of our nearly 1.5 million $ expansion/renovation and dedication service on June 3, we project 100K will not be covered by the generosity of previous generations and the previous sacrificial gifts of current members. We are praying to avoid debt as our Lord inspires those who have been extraordinarily financially blessed to make up this difference.
I have a friend who likes to say, "The Lord loves a cheerful giver; but accepts checks from grouches...I wonder how the people who are too rich to tithe as the least they can do for Him feel about the inevitability of explaining that to Him sooner or later and definitely in the end."
Again, I have no hesitancies about asking for $ from those who have it by the grace of God as a test of how they will manage it for Him.
Whether it's the expansion/renovation, Stronghold Benefit, First Response Team, or the continuing costs of life and ministry on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belvidere, Illinois, it's a privilege to encourage folks to give, give, give, and give some more so they are not cheated of the pleasures of increasing obedience.
Give, give, give!
You will be glad you did!
You will be blessed beyond your greatest dreams!
The Kingdom's advancement will be stronger because of you!
Blessings and Love!