As Matt shared in the video, we are friends from my days at Southwestern Seminary. I was shocked when I heard he was moving back to Fort Worth to plant a church. But when he described the vision and the spiritual need in Fort Worth, I sensed the Lord’s hand in it.
Matt is a gifted leader and has a super magnetic personality. I’m excited to see what the Lord does through this partnership and Redemption City Church.
They had their first in-person preview service on Sunday and they had 71 people show up! For a COVID-19 world that’s pretty amazing.
Matt texted me,
“I couldn’t believe it as cars kept pulling in. Lost people we invited came, too! I feel like I have a hangover today though, ha.”
(I couldn’t resist adding in that last sentence. He actually said it but it gives you insight into the kind of toil a church planter faces.)
Again, your giving to the World Missions Offering helps to make this possible. Every dollar helps plant a church in Western Chad or West Fort Worth or West Bengal. And that’s just scratching the surface. Gifts to the Lottie Moon Offering and other associational offerings multiply our effectiveness beyond imagination. I’m also excited to share about what’s happening through our other strategic partnerships in future updates.
We are a Great Commandment, Great Commission, Acts 1:8 church and it takes the whole church giving, praying and going in order to really be an Acts 1:8 church. Please prayerfully consider how God would have you to give this year.
One Request, Two Levels
As I say every December, I want to challenge you to do TWO things this month. Really it’s just one thing but it’s going to work at two different levels. The one challenge is to sincerely pray and seek the Lord for how he wants you to participate in this special offering. This offering is an important thing to our church. It’s how we became a World Mission Church over a decade ago.
I know times are tough. Even as a church we are facing financial constraints and challenges. But you cannot out-give the Lord when it comes to advancing his mission among the nations. Whatever cuts we have to make as a church, we really don’t want to shrink back in our giving to missions.
Any dollars you put into the Gospel river that is flowing to the nations is money well invested. As Jesus told us, we will be “using worldly wealth to make friends for ourselves in the eternal dwellings.” (Luke 16:9)
Those are the dwellings that matter the most. Those are the friends that last forever. Those are the investments that eternally accrue. The stock market rises and then it will fall but heavenly investments produce heavenly rewards, rewards that cannot be destroyed nor stolen out from under us. (Matthew 6:20)
Here are the two things I want you to pray about.
First, I want to challenge you to consider giving a large gift to the World Missions Offering for the month of December. Christmas is when we celebrate Jesus’ birthday. We spend money on gifts for a lot of people during this month. I want to challenge you to make your biggest gift to Jesus. Dig deep and think sacrificially. Ask the Lord, “What would you have me to give this month?”
Secondly, ask the Lord how he might use you to support the World Missions Offering on a monthly basis. The truth is, these partnerships last all year. While the giving in December typically enables us to honor our commitments to the Lottie Moon Offering and other special offerings, it is only through the ongoing monthly support that we make good on our other partnerships. You can set up a recurring gift here. Your giving will ensure we honor our commitments and see God use our church to plant other churches here in America and around the world.
The monthly commitment would obviously be a much small gift in comparison to December. You might consider dividing your December gift by 11 and break it up that way. The Lord will lead you in what you need to do. All I’m asking you to do is ASK. Let him persuade you on what’s right for you.
That’s going to be it for me. In our next update I’ll discuss our 2021 General Fund budget and hopefully highlight some of these other mission partnerships. As I mentioned in last week’s update, these trying times have really drilled home the message that we NEED THE LORD.
I’m sensing in my Spirit the need for us to gather and pray. Not a one-off prayer meeting but a season of extended, unhurried undistracted time with God. We need to be able to hear his voice and experience his presence so that we have clarity on what to do moving forward.
I envision God using these “prayer meetings” to ignite something special in our church. I envision God answering specific prayers in measurable and miraculous kinds of ways. I’m still working out the logistics and hope to have something organized by January of 2021. The staff and I will discuss it during our staff retreat in January as well.
We need the Lord. We need worship in which we experience God’s presence and hear him speak. Please join me in praying that the Lord will continue moving us the right direction and we will be sensitive to his leadership on this matter.
Unsurprisingly, other churches in the city of Abilene have been sensing the same thing. (this is one the reasons I know this is from the Lord) 1-Kingdom and the affiliated churches are hosting a City-Wide prayer meeting this coming Sunday at 6:00PM. The meeting will be hosted over Zoom. Up to 3,000 people can attend. Just use the following meeting Zoom ID: 875-0893-0027
The Lord is moving and for that I’m grateful. If there’s anyway I can pray for you please let me know! You can just reply to this message. I hope you have a great rest of your week and maybe I’ll see some of you Sunday. If not, I’ll catch for “At Home” worship online or in the app.
Until He Comes,