On Thanksgiving Day, I was overwhelmed with the goodness of God and his gifts. As I snacked on the third round of turkey with my family and a couple of new friends, I found myself reflecting on my awesome church family. Grace Hills, you may not realize it, but God has used you to heal some pretty broken things in me. And it’s a pretty amazing privilege to be your pastor!
This weekend, Pastor Danny Kirk is kicking off our four-week Advent message series, The Gifts, with a sermon about Adventurous Hope. Be sure to get to one of our TWO services Sunday: 9:30 or 11:00.
On Sundays, December 4, 11, and 18, we’ll have all three of our regular service times – 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00. Then, for Christmas, we’re offering two identical services:
Saturday, Christmas Eve: 4:00 pm
Sunday, Christmas Day: 4:00 pm
And next year, 2017, is going to be the year for a breakthrough! More on that later.
Black Friday is fun. Or maybe insane. Or maybe just annoying. However you feel about it, you can get more enthusiastic about a new trend in our social, digital age: #GivingTuesday. On Tuesday, November 29, millions of people will make donations to charities, nonprofits, and NGO’s around the world.
We have an annual tradition as well. Every year, from the Sunday before Thanksgiving through #GivingTuesday (okay, this is the first year we’ve added that second part, but you get the point), we’re asking Grace Hills’ committed attenders to give above and beyond their normal giving to support a couple of causes.
First, we’re sending $1,000 to Belize to throw a party for some precious, hungry children, who didn’t just get to feast on turkey and stuffing. We also set some money aside in our “Future Fund.” We have a BIG vision for what God wants to do in Northwest Arkansas and beyond and we’re saving for it, whether it’s a relocation, building, church planting, or starting a second campus somewhere in the area. So the Future Fund is our way of getting ahead.
On a transparent note, this has been a bit of a harder year than expected financially for Grace Hills. We’ve paid the bills and we’ve continued supporting missionaries and investing in our local community. But with our move to our current location, our monthly expenses increased about $6,000 per month. At the same time, the last couple of external partners needed to phase out their giving to Grace Hills so we’ve lost a couple thousand dollars in monthly income.
Here’s the cool thing. While things have been harder financially, we’ve grown! In fact, we’ve almost doubled in a year. This is truly a movement of lives being changed by the good news of Jesus!!
So we’re asking our committed attenders to consider increasing their regular giving, perhaps by one or two percent of their income. And for those who haven’t started giving yet, maybe now is the time to take the plunge. We are a no-pressure, give-freely-out-of-whatever-God-has-blessed-you-with movement. We love the people who have not as much as the people who have. We don’t believe people should give out of guilt or a sense of obligation. We DO believe that God wants us to live by faith and join him in doing some BIG things!
So, as we come to the end of 2016 and look forward to 2017, the year for a breakthrough, we’re asking God to provide so that we can reach all of Northwest Arkansas and beyond with the good news of Jesus!!