One person gives freely, yet gains more; another withholds what is right, only to become poor. A generous person will be enriched, and the one who gives a drink of water will receive water. (Proverbs 11:24-25)
You read that verse and it makes sense because you've experienced it. It just feels good to give. At the same time, it doesn't make sense because of the world we live in. In a world where nothing seems to come easy it makes no sense when giving reminds you that you've been given everything you need. How do we resolve that tension?
Only with God.
Generosity originates with God. It all comes from him! And because of that it's one of those things that mysteriously multiplies by the power of the gospel.
In 2021, God did some incredible work in our hearts that has resulted in generosity and that is spilling over into our community and beyond - even sowing seeds for the future! It's really exciting to watch; "enriching" as the Scripture says.
And I can't wait to see how others will continue to extend generosity! At the same time, I can't wait to see how God will continue to provide for the ministry he is calling our CCC family to. Let's keep joining Jesus! Let's be after people's hearts!
Here's 5 glimpses of generosity I saw in 2021:
We passed $5,000 in the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering! The Lottie Moon Christmas offering goes solely and directly to the front lines of international missions. We both plan to give to it in our budget AND make a push for extra gifts! This year we amped it up with a fundraiser as well. When it was all totaled we just passed the goal at $5,016! We've already set our goal for next year at $7,500 to be collected on Christmas Sunday - which is December 25 next year! How could you be more generous towards this? Start planning now! Generosity is something we can plan for and cultivate in our lives.
Our total receipts for 2021 were not only our most ever, but more than what's needed in 2022. Blown away doesn't even begin to describe how God embedded generosity towards the local church in your hearts this year! Together, we gave 134% of the needed budget for 2021! On top of that, in a year there is significant increase to the budget, more was given than our budgeted needs for 2022. We have a great responsibility to be obedient to how God calls us to use those resources to join Jesus in going out to make disciples! We can continue to grow our generosity to other gospel-centered partners both locally and all around the world. Generosity expects stewardship and obedience.
2 families Christmas was changed in 24 hours. Outside of our usual Christmas outreach, we became aware of a couple local families that had emergencies hit 10 days before Christmas. In 24 hours, multiple CCC families had responded to the tune of $800 in gift cards above and beyond usual giving! WOW! Generosity often happens in the moment.
A local church trusted a local church to find a local church to be the church. When the tornado hit west Kentucky, the nation responded. I was shocked when the very first church I preached in called and let me know that a generous check was already on the way to CCC's mailbox. They were trusting us to get it in the hands of a local church or two who could continue to love on people affected by the disaster. Generosity is sometimes no strings attached.
As a church died, it gave generously towards starting new churches. Trinity Church ceased to exist this year. It died. And in this world, death is our greatest enemy. Whether it's human life, a church, or anything in between, death is not our friend. But because of Jesus, death gives way to life. And Trinity sent a massive check to Christ Community to specifically be used for starting new churches in the future. In Trinity Church's death, they sowed seeds that will one day blossom into new churches. Generosity requires sacrifice.
So what's all this mean???
First, if you were generous towards the mission at CCC in 2021, THANK YOU! Let's keep joining Jesus in 2022 and see if we can continue to outdo ourselves in generosity.
Second, If you gave, you can expect your giving statement in the mail soon. If for some reason you don't receive it or there's questions, please contact Katie@Loveshelbyville.com.
Last but not least, if you want to get in on this generosity, you can get in on the giving today! Click here to get started or visit loveshelbyville.com/give.