An Encouragement for Faith Covenant
Posted on Nov 7, 2013 in Faith Updates
In this week’s Faith Update I want to share with you four things I am really thanking God for today concerning Faith Covenant Church. Thank you God that:
1) this church is diving into new life;
2) this church is defying demographics;
3) this church is experiencing freedom;
4) this church is growing more generous.
DIVING INTO NEW LIFE—Since last June 52 believers came forward in our weekend services to be baptized. That doesn’t even include the babies that we baptized and dedicated in that time period! That means a church that is over fifty years old just baptized 10% of our weekly attendance in only two worship services.
This is behavior of a new movement like a church plant—not a well established church that is smaller than it was decades ago. God is doing this and for that I am grateful and humbled.
DEFYING DEMOGRAPHICS! Churches usually attract people who are more alike than they are different—the same age, ethnicity, income bracket, upbringing etc. Not this church apparently. One Sunday in October we saw 20 people get baptized. What is amazing to me is that the people getting baptized ranged from a seven-year old little girl who asked her dad if she could do it—to a dear woman in her early nineties that was secure enough to let me lift her in the tank! Ironed dress clothes, sweatshirts, and tattoos—there was no singular type of person! Do you realize how amazingly diverse this movement of Christ followers is becoming? Do you know that the majority of revivals where many come to Christ defy demographic trends? Only God can bring people who are very different to surrender their lives to a love that unites them in Christ. He is doing it!
EXPERIENCING FREEDOM! Pastor John has done a great job facilitating two rounds of a class called Water of Life. In this 8-week class people are being set free. Currently 35 people are completing the journey. You may sense you need to go through it next year. And in January you will hear testimonies of people who have been set free from life-long patterns of sin and addiction, self-hatred, pride and despair. This church is experiencing, not just talking about, the reconciliation and healing that Christ offers to all people through His death and Resurrection. We are more open to the Spirit of God moving in our hearts and in our lives. Amazing!
WE ARE GROWING MORE GENEROUS! Last March I challenged us to adopt a financial priority rhythm of Give, Save, Live. My wife and I do this—we are trying to model for our kids to give 10% (or more) of our income to whatever church we are serving and some extra to causes we support. Why? Because years ago my wife asked me, a selfish graduate student, to step out in faith and do it. I resisted, she persisted; now I am so grateful we did it. When you sense the purpose and power of Christ—you almost can’t help but finance what He said would change this world—the movement of the church! After giving we then commit to saving at least 10% of our income. You see we learned over time that responsibility births opportunity to influence and love this world. Next we commit to live off or the remaining 70% to 80%. That was hard and required a smaller house, an older car and some bargain shopping! Yet this percentage approach to Give, Save, Live has brought our family a freedom and joy I can’t even describe. Are we special or extra generous? No, not really. Am I bragging? No way—remember my wife was the one who talked me, the pastor guy, into Biblical Finances! We are just one family among many families and individuals who are ordering their finances in this way. Money is a terrible god to serve. Money is meant to be leveraged: leveraged for God’s renewal project through Christ. And more and more of you are seeing that. Thank you. If this is new information to you, I dare you to try the Give, Save, Live approach in 2014. I know it would bring great freedom and life to your finances like it did for us. If the pastor advocating tithing and giving to the church first arises your suspicions try the rhythm out and give whatever percentage you decide on to a different church. Don’t get me wrong, we could use it—but I would rather the church down the road is supported and you experience God’s best for your finances than you not grow into a more generous and stable steward of what belongs to God anyway. The point is putting God’s agenda to reveal Christ first—first in your heart and checking account. You will never regret it if you commit to Give, Save, Live. Faith, thank you for becoming the generous, responsible people God created us to be.
Thank you for your partnership in this diverse, Christ-centered, increasingly generous and freedom-marked fellowship. For all this and much more, we say thank you God.
Growing more Joyful,
– Pastor Mike Lotzer
Faith Connect Lunch
Whether this is your first Sunday at Faith or you have been kicking the tires around here for a while, we want to invite you to our Faith Connect lunch this Sunday, November 10 at 12:15pm in room 200. This is intended to give you information about our church, answer questions, and point you in the right direction to get involved with a small group or volunteering. Childcare will be provided. RSVP to email@example.com.
Missions Update Opportunity
Come hear Erika Simpkins share what has been happening in her life as a YWAM missionary in Perth, Australia on Sunday, November 10 at 12:15pm.
November Prime Time
If you are a senior at Faith, you are invited to our monthly luncheon that offers fellowship and great food! We enjoy hymn singing, learning opportunities, and making connections with friends new and old. This month’s lunch is November 14th at 11:30am and we will hear from Larry and Allison (Heimkes) Smoak about their mission in Honduras. RSVP by Monday, November 11 to Elaine at 952-890-2086 or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggested donation $5
Congregational Business Meeting
All who consider Faith their church are invited to attend the fall Congregational Business Meeting on Sunday, November 17 at 12:15pm. We encourage you to invest in this chance to be updated about the things your staff and council are working on. Copies of the agenda for this meeting and minutes from July’s Annual Meeting are available at the information counter in the lobby. If you have any business that you would like the council to consider bringing to this meeting, please email email@example.com.
Worship Night – Friday November 22
This last Easter we were blessed by a women named Shelby Makay, who led worship with Jon Oney. Many have asked when she is coming back and the answer is November 22nd! Shelby has agreed with her band to lead a free worship night celebrating with us the joy of Thanksgiving. This is a opportunity to come together as a church and worship the God who gives us acess to unsinkable joy and what we have been talking about in this series. It is going to be a great night. Starts at 7pm and doors open at 6:30pm. See you there!
Thanksgiving Eve Worship Service
Join us on Wednesday, November 27 at 6:30pm for our Thanksgiving Eve Service and Hymn Sing, then stay for pie and fellowship in the Legacy Chapel afterwards. Childcare available for children under age 4.