Most of our
Church is aware that we are facing a serious test of faith. Our deficit
for the year, especially due to much lower giving during the months of
June and July, has created a situation which is very hard for everyone
who loves this congregation. For the great majority of over 21 years,
though we have never passed a plate and have relied upon a box in the
Foyer, at the end of the year Community Church has been blessed with
a financial surplus.
For the last few years we have been experiencing the consequences of a
number of events: 1) The moving of many families who played very key
roles in our church; 2) The departure of several families over the issue
of spiritual gifts; and 3) The present recession which has altered the
financial picture for many in our congregation. There are several
families where the main provider has either lost his job or has
experienced a dramatic drop in his work volume.
cope with these situation, the employees within our Church have
responded in several way: For the last few years, the staff voluntarily
froze their salaries. Christmas bonuses were declined. This year I took
a significant reduction in my salary. Sue limited the number of
hours she worked per week. We have sought to
avoid all but absolutely necessary expenses. My wife went back to work
to compensate for my salary decrease, to help us pay for two weddings,
and to help with our childrenís college expenses.
leadership team has sought to respond in the Lordís wisdom. They reduced
our budget as much as possible. They communicated to the congregation,
both in meetings and in writing, the need for our Church to give
according to the principles of Godís Word. They have prayerfully sought
Godís direction and provision. Their plan was to ensure that we had
reserves sufficient to sustain the financial needs of our Church knowing
that in February of 2010, when the five year term on our present lease
runs out, we would be in a position to renegotiate a reduction of the
rent on our property, relocate, or follow whatever other direction the
Lord makes clear to us. This is still our goal, but much depends upon
our reserves and reducing the pattern of monthly deficits.
Our faith is being tested,
and our response needs to be that of confident trust in the Lord. Godís
plans for our Church are sovereign, loving, wise, good and perfect. My
soul is once again drawn to Psalm 46 a text that has
provided me with much encouragement in very trying circumstances. The
Psalmist seeks to strengthen the faith of believers facing difficulties
which greatly exceed their personal abilities. Catastrophic difficulties
such as mountains slipping into the heart of the sea are described
calling for Godís people to remember that God is in complete, perfect
control. Specifically the following encouraging truths are set forth in
this tremendous text:
- God is our refuge.
- The Lord is an every present help in trouble.
- We are not to fear, though the earth gives way, though the
mountains fall into the sea.
- In God there is a river that brings gladness to Godís people.
- Because the Most High dwells in a holy place, we are to take
- We are to place our faith on our God who is in our midst so that
we will not fall.
- God will be our help at the break of day.
- The Lord Almighty is with us.
- The God of Jacob is our fortress.
- We are to look and behold the works of the Lord.
- We are to cease personal striving knowing that our God is our
- The Lord will be exalted in our situation [regardless of the
- The God of Jacob is our personal fortress.
Therefore let us pray for
Godís perfect will. Let us not fret, but rather let us individually and together
seek His direction for our Church family. Let us not strive, but rather submit
to His providence. Let us find great peace, comfort and composure knowing
that He is The One who will help us, and that He will help us in a way
that will advance His perfect will and glorify Him. Let out hearts take courage.
Let us remember the greatness of His love and the power of His mighty hand. He
will do what is best for Community Church and for each member of our
beloved Church family. Let us stand back and behold the greatness of our God. He
will not fail us. He will do what is best. Please pray with diligence
for our Leadership Team as we seek Godís direction and determine how best to
communicate with our congregation specifically regarding this difficulty and
concerning the various options that must be weighed as together we seek
Godís perfect will.