by Doug Rehberg
I have a friend in Florida who is the Senior Pastor of a large church. Within the congregation he serves are a lot of wealthy people, many who can afford to give tens of thousands of dollars to the work of ministry and the changing of lives, but don’t. In a recent conversation he mentioned that the level of giving he sees in his present parish is no greater than in all of the other churches he’s served, with one notable exception.
There is a couple in his church who are always a “yes” whenever he presents a need. After several successful “asks” my friend enquired as to why they are always so quick to give generously to the cause of Christ, and their answer surprised him.
They said that before 1991 they were only occasional givers. Though they had known Christ for decades, and were highly successful financially, they were in the habit of giving far less than a tithe, and almost never did they give to a special request or ministry opportunity.
That all changed in 1991 when their only child, a son, died. They said that as they walked away from his grave and sat in the car, suddenly the same thought hit both of them. They described it this way:
“On a bright, sunny, horrible day in October we buried our Lance in a small country cemetery. And as we sat in our car, looking out at his grave, we had an interesting thought. We’d never spend a dime on him again. Death is cheap. Death is sustained without expense. The dead have no need for money, only the living do. Life’s expensive. Growth costs. And suddenly we said to ourselves, ‘We will never belong to a church that doesn’t ask us for money.’”
I’ve known a few people like that over the course of my life. Perhaps you have too. They are easy to be with, because their attitude and their outlook always skews positive and their hearts always move outward.
On Friday, September 15, we held a “Say YES” Gala at Edgewood Country Club and more than 150 of our church family attended. This was the first such “offsite” dinner celebration in 17 years. (The last one was at the former Churchill Country Club on August 24, 2000, in advance of building the Barclay Building.)
At the Gala we distributed a booklet entitled, “Investing in the Future” which details Hebron’s 10-year vision for ministry and the four strategic goals with their accompanying costs.
Additionally, it was announced that 41% of the money needed to achieve these goals has been already given or pledged.
Over the coming weeks you are being asked to join a growing number of people at Hebron in saying “Yes” to giving (over and above your regular giving) to meet the challenge of raising the remaining $900,000 (59%) of our $1,625,000 goal.
To stay on the proposed timeline, our goal is to have all pledges in by October 15. If each of you says “Yes” to giving what the Lord puts on your hearts to give, together we will meet the challenge to move Hebron forward in the direction the Lord has set before us.