Healthy in 2019

Recently we talked about what it means to live a life of health. We talked about it from a soul perspective, our finances, our bodies and even what health looks like in the local church. If you missed a part of the series, make sure you check them all out on YouTube.

One of the questions I’m often asked is about the health of the local church financially. Here is how it is often asked: “As a church plant, how are we doing?” My simple answer is this; we are healthy! Due to the generosity of those within Turning Point and outside of our church community, we are in a very healthy place. Again, you can hear more of that from last week’s message or even check out the details of what 2018 looked like on our giving page.

We are healthy! Yet, even as we walk in health as a church, I believe God has so much more for us to accomplish. There are so many people that still don’t know Christ here in SWFL. That, in part, is our responsibility as a church. It’s your responsibility and it’s mine too. As a church we will always be outwardly focused in helping point people to the hope of Jesus Christ. This means that as we continue to reach others and grow as a church it requires a level of both faith and obedience for those of us who are Christ followers.

How? What is your part? My part? Let me give you two areas where we can continue to be healthy and be others focused. One, do something.  When it comes to giving, everybody can do something. I truly believe that. Again, I believe the goal or the benchmark for Jesus followers is 10% of their income.  It’s where we are called to step out in faith. Jesus followers, that is the target to aim for. It’s the way to follow God’s economy in our lives. We give. We save. Then we live on the rest.

Here is what happens when we do something. When we trust God, God shows up. He takes care of us. He helps the local church do what it’s called to do; reach people! When we aim for this target in giving, it gives us a healthy way to live financially. Many of you can do that. Some of us can do more.

The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
— Proverbs 11:25 (NLT)

But here is what I know. This can all be pretty overwhelming for some of us new to faith. Newer to giving. It might even seem a bit overwhelming to some of us as we have backed ourselves into bad financial corners. Giving is part of being healthy, but so is budgeting. Being generous is important in your journey, but maybe taking steps to get out of debt is too. That’s all healthy so I understand that target may seem super challenging.

Yet when things are hard God can do so much in and through us. So here is the challenge. Still do something. Start somewhere and trust God.  Do 4%. Do 5%. Do 8%. When you take steps of faith, God steps in. God honors your faith. God provides. And again, it’s healthy. When we all all do something, the impact is greater. When we all do something, that helps us as a church be healthy.  

Secondly, do something consistently.  Consistency is something we can grow in as a  church. You know how I know that? Because if I were to show you a graph of our giving, it would look like the roller coasters at Busch Gardens. At times we are climbing and see this incredible view of our surroundings. Wow, that’s an amazing view!

Then, well, you know what roller coasters do when they reach the top of the hill. It’s down and off to the races. Up and down followed by more up and down. So for us to be healthier in 2019, it requires us all to be more consistent. Consistency minimizes the up and down moments of doing ministry.

You know why consistency is key? It’s because whether you are at church or not, ministry still happens. Reaching people still happens. You might be out of town on vacation. Great, enjoy your time away. But ministry is still happening at home. You might have been up all night with a sick toddler and you are worn down and can’t come. We’ve all be there. But you know what? Even when we don’t feel good, people still need to hear about Christ. Ministry still happens no matter what.  Consistency from each of us helps the church do it’s best to always reach people even when you can’t be there to be a part of it.

How can each of us take that step? For some of us it means that when we come to church, we are prepared to give. It’s not accidental, it’s on purpose. It’s intentional.   It’s not responding out of guilt or because the preacher says so. Those really aren’t good motives to give anyway. It’s coming prepared to give and respond because we know it matters. We know we can play a part. We know that it’s a way that I can honor and worship God consistently.

Then for some of us, consistency means going digital in our giving. Think about how many other things we do digitally that help us stay consistent. Why not in the area of giving? When we give digitally it means that when I can’t make it to church for whatever reason, we are still helping. “Just set it and forget it.” Set it for once a month, twice a month or whatever rhythm works best for you. It’s your decision and it’s pretty easy to set up. You can do that right here.

Here is why that is so key. When you take that step, we are still making an impact in the lives of others. We are still helping people know Christ. We are still helping our church be healthy. We are still fulfilling the mission of reaching people. And I know we all want that!

So thank you for helping us be healthy in 2018. My hope is that you will join us by doing something. By doing something consistently. Those steps will help us be even “Healthier” in 2019.

Pastor Steve