By Brad Jernberg, Minister of Administration for Operations
Our entire operation is based on faith. From January to December we are careful about running numbers; we are meticulous in managing our expenses; and we are hopeful and optimistic about the collective giving capacity of this congregation. And another December has come and gone, and we have overcome another $800,000+ deficit, thanks be to God. The strange and unique thing about our "business model" is that we have no guarantees on the income side of the ledger. We must rely on faith that the members of South Main will give back a portion of what God has given to us. In fact, the only indicator we have is that for every year since 2012, we have over-given our budget. We have responded to a call - a call from the church and a call from God - to be good stewards with what we've been given.
Now is time to answer another call, as we embark on a stewardship campaign that simultaneously funds the 2019 operating budget, and completes the funding for our Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall renovations. Strength for Today & Bright Hope for Tomorrow is the theme. As it pertains to our gifts, the theme is clear: we need to give $4.275 million to fund the 2019 budget so that we have Strength for Today; and we need to give $3.7 million to finish paying for the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall so that the church is positioned with a Bright Hope for Tomorrow. We've done the math, the numbers add up, it's time to give. Seems simple enough.
But more than the dollars and cents is the sense that God is up to something great here. Strength for Today & Bright Hope for Tomorrow is a statement of faith as much as a stewardship campaign. Our daily strength comes from God, and our hope rests in the knowledge that God's promises will be fulfilled. They may not always be fulfilled in our sense of time, but in God's time, we trust that they will.
Strength and hope are gifts from God, just as our lives, our families, our friendships, our careers, and our money are gifts from God. All that we have comes from God, and all that God asks of us is to give back a small portion. And when we take each of our portions and combine them, we can accomplish far more with our collective gifts than we ever could alone.
This campaign will require sacrifice from all of us. There are some big numbers at play. But the call is clear, and it's important for us to hold this up to God, and have faith that God is going to do something great.