Jesus said, “This poor widow has given more than all the rest of them…She, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”
Covenant Grove needs to raise $750,000 over the next 3 years in order to expand our facilities and not stop our current growth. But it isn’t really about the money; it is all about what God is trying to do in each person’s heart.
God is working in my heart. I grew up with a very comfortable lifestyle, and that is the lifestyle I wanted when I grew up. Then the Lord called me into ministry, and I knew that I would not be making as much money as I could have as an engineer, businessman, or lawyer (other careers I had considered). It took me over ten years to accept – and celebrate – the life and salary of a pastor. God taught me contentment, budgeting, getting out of debt, and growing in giving up to 10%. I am surrounded by a supportive church family that blesses me and my family in so many ways beyond finances. But the Lord was not done with me.
I thought I was done growing in this area, but Jesus had other ideas (has that ever happened to you?). First, I began to realize that I was not content enough; I used spending to help me feel better. It was a bad habit. I began tracking my spending and changing my habits. I grew more content and spent less. Then I realized that I owned too much. I started with clothes (what I care about least) and began to get rid of what I didn’t really like. Then I moved to movies, music, and video games. I made a commitment that for every thing I receive (like a Christmas present), I will give something away. As I did these things, my giving to God’s work grew. I found I had more money to spend because I was more content. My savings also increased. I had to make sure I didn’t spend all that money on my kids; my goal is to teach them to be content as well. This is one of the reasons we love to camp – it is super fun and bonding, and it only costs $300 for a family of 7!
God is still working in my heart. He is now asking me to consider what it means to follow Him in sacrificial giving. I can’t outgive God. Every time I have given Him more, He has given me immeasurably more. I am more full of joy and contentment than I have ever been in my life. I am not anxious about the future or finances. Yet Jesus is not done with me. As we enter into this season of the Capital Initiative, I know that the Lord is asking me to give above and beyond. Hannah (my wife) and I came up with an amount we would pledge. Then we realized a car payment would be ending, so we increased our amount. Then we prayed more and increased our amount even more – so that we would still be sacrificing for the Lord in year three. God may increase the amount again – we are still praying. These decisions are being made with joy. I am looking forward to seeing how God will grow my faith and provide more than I could imagine, as He always has.
We have to raise $750,000, but it is not about the money. It is about the work that Jesus is trying to do in every single person’s heart. We are not going to get to that big financial goal without every person going deeper in sacrifice. A group of people who are willing to sacrificially follow Jesus always wind up changing the world – because their hearts have been transformed. I am not focused on the money; I am focused on the work God is doing in every heart, including my own.
- March 8 is our Leader Commitment Event at 7:00pm.
- March 17 is our Commitment Sunday – 10:00am at Enochs High School (one service only)
- For those that call Covenant Grove their church home, we ask that giving to the Initiative is on top of your General Fund giving. We have to continue paying for our current mortgage and ministry before we finance more!
- If you would like to give to the Initiative, either a one-time gift, a three-year pledge, or both, you can go to www.covenantgrove.org/giving/.