Between the time you read this email and the close of books on December 31, we need to give $1,269,554 in order to fully fund our 2023 budget. I remain confident that we can do it. We certainly have the capacity—each of us has been entrusted with more than our fair share of God’s abundance. We have the history—for far longer than the twenty years I have been your pastor, we have given 25% of our annual giving in December and for the past several years, 20% of our annual giving has come in the final two weeks of the year. Last year, 391 different people or families made gifts to the budget in the final two weeks of the year.
The question is—will we do it? The next two weeks will tell.
Your year-end giving really does make a difference. In 2023, forty-seven people joined South Main after either making a profession of faith in Christ or discovering a new church home with us. Eight baptisms grew out of the nurturing work of our Family Ministry. Think about that—young people, some who have been at South Main since being on the cradle roll and others who made their own way as teenagers—found salvation in Christ because your gifts provided them opportunities God used to call them into faith.
The work of many leaders and teachers offer compelling Bible studies each week where our kids learn of Jesus’ command to love justice, practice kindness, and to walk humbly with God. At South Main, they are gaining opportunities to advance their discipleship in ministry efforts that focus on alleviating homelessness and hunger, providing medical care, and offering dignity to all persons both in Houston and around the world. Our kids learn both how much God loves them and how much God wants them to be agents of grace, justice, and love in the world and are responding by giving their very lives to Him.
Your gifts are instrumental in all of this, and if we're to begin the coming year on a solid financial footing to continue this sort of tremendous Gospel work in earnest, now is the time to join in with this effort to conclude 2023 as strong as possible. I pray you will join Missy and me in giving sacrificially and joyfully this week.