On Sunday, Jesus invited us to invest with him and for his ministries – and give and receive overflowing blessing, in ways we could never imagine or even hope. (Matthew 14:13-21)
- Jesus uses the investment of his disciples to feed 5000 men and their families. He invites us to feed the hunger in our hearts and lives that only he can fill, through his ministries here. Jesus shows us that we are moved to give “our money,” not by a general feeling of gratitude or “what is in our hearts,” but to meet a specific need with a promised ROI [Return on Investment] that benefits us and those we care about.
- These are they ways you have invested with Jesus, in his ministries so far, resulting in positive ROIs we could never imagined eight years ago:
(a) A full time Pastor (instead of Sunday supply preachers) who loves, prays for you, listens, guides, challenges, and hopefully inspires
(b) A Pinpoint Prayer Team who pray throughout the week; a Care Team who feed, call, give rides, run errands, lay on love
(c) Times of Fellowship to bring us together to become friends, Christian friends to help us walk with Jesus
(d) A Director for Youth, Children, and Their Families, who, with other leaders and teachers, nurtures the faith of our King’s Kids and Elevate Youth; fills our youth with love for Jesus and each other, to come together with East Huntersville youth as One Youth and in Small Groups; leads Mission Trips that have changed their lives
(e) Inspiring Worship; heart-lifting music; classes and now 8 Small Groups (v. 1 eight years ago) for adults
(f) An East Huntersville ministry changing lives of families, children, and youth…inspiring significant investments outside this church
(g) A Fifth Sunday Offering reducing our mortgages of $650,000 to burning one now and the next by next year
(h) A focus on Organic Outreach that is already bearing much fruit
- The picture of a family summed up Jesus’ ROI – becoming members of our Family by re-committing their lives to Jesus; entrusting their son to Jesus and to us through Baptism; with the Cross in the middle, declaring Jesus’ investment in us; and the butterfly banner, declaring how Jesus has used our investments to resurrect and give new life to our Family!
- Yet Jesus is calling us to invest more – to close the gaps laid out at the beginning of this Connection. We will respond by deciding if we want, enough to invest, what these investments do for us/for Jesus – Full compensation for our Director for Youth, Children, and Their Families; incremental closing of the gap of compensation for a Pastor; an installment for a capital fund for the day when major equipment runs out of life…
- Jesus assures us that, if we all invest, he will multiply and use our investments to bless us and be a blessing – the promise we see fulfilled when all of the disciples give what they have to him.
- If we all invest, we will experience the miracle of Stone Soup. The recipe began with a poor family in Africa coming to a village, asking for food, being turned away, “We only have enough for ourselves.” But as the father began boiling a pot of water with a stone in it, he explained that this was delicious stone soup, but would be better if it had carrots; one villager responded, “Here, I have some carrots;” one-by-one others put in what they had. The result was a hearty, healthy soup…enough for the family and the whole village…which happened when each invested when they realized the good blessings that could happen if they did!
- Sallie and I experienced Jesus’ promised ROI – beginning when we gave a stewardship message at our church…confessing that we only gave 2% of our income; promising to give 1% more of our income each year until we reached a tithe of 10%. Two years later, we readjusted our priorities and went to 10%, and never looked back. And as we let go of money, Jesus began changing us in many ways, changing our hearts…ultimately to come here, which would never have happened if we had not invested so strongly with Jesus and his ministries.
Connection for the Week: Sallie and I have committed to do our share (and more) to fill the gaps…and invest 18% of our income in the Heart of Meadowlake. I hope that you will join us on Sunday, bringing your investment to the Altar, to the Cross that declares Jesus’ investment in us…beneath the banner declaring how he has and will use our investments to bring new life for you, your family, our Family…in ways we could never imagine or even hope!