Jesus Christ didn’t die on the cross for church budgets, church programs, church attendance figures, offering plates or stained glass windows. Jesus didn’t die on the cross for acreage, square footage or parking-lot size.
Jesus died on the cross for people! It was the value that God places on people which drove Jesus to the cross and which kept him there through all the pain and suffering that was involved.
One of the biggest objections to Christianity among those in our secular world is the way they feel the church treats people. Secular people generally feel that we treat people like expendable resources – which means that we’re only interested in what we can get from people. This explains why the most common objection to the church is: “The church is always asking for money!” This is just another way of people saying, “All the church is interested in is what it can get out of me.”
At Bell County Faith Fellowship, we are committed to being the kind of church that removes this objection by valuing and serving people. Our goal is not to see how much we can get from people but to see how much we can give to people. We don’t always get this perfect. But we are a people who love broken people.
Giving is a difficult topic. It's easy to avoid, difficult to digest, and often times one of the last places we're willing to give over to the Lord in our walk of faith. Who can blame us? In one of the most economically challenging times we have seen, giving over a piece of our livelihood seems daunting, scary, and sometimes downright senseless by the standard of many.
Our giving is not meant to be obligatory or used as a way to earn God's favor. It's meant to be done out of the overflow of gratitude from our hearts, saying we are abundantly thankful for the things He's given us and recognize they are His and meant to be managed well for His purposes. Giving back whatever is left over after we spend on what we think we need or want is not enough.
Rather, a giving of our "first fruits" as the Bible says (Deuteronomy 26) or a regular piece of our income set aside for Christ and building up His Church as we trust that He will take care of our every need, is what He requires from us as our first and best.
Giving lays the foundation for our spiritual surrender as we lay down our means for livelihood to the One who gives us our livelihood to begin with. It's a physical act of surrender and trust in the security of our one and only refuge. It’s also a vital practice when so many of us can be prone to say we trust in God to provide for us daily, but in our hearts we place more trust in the security provided by our own bank accounts.
Giving is an act of worship as we make our faith real in the every day.
Above all, giving is an act of worship as we make our faith real in the everyday, putting our words of surrender and trust into action in a very tangible way.
The Truth is starting up a church, maintaining the facility, striving to reach the community, and building a trained and equipped team does take money. However it is more than just running an organization. It is so much more about trusting God’s provision so we can achieve His vision and mission to make disciples of all nations. This is should be the central focus of our lives and it begins with your local church.
This Advent season, I hope we'll be excited to think and act on how we can make a name for Christ by being abundantly and radically generous with both our time and resources, to those God puts in our midst.
Join the vision of So Broken…So Loved. We at Faith Fellowship are asking you and anyone else you might know to give prayerfully over what amount you normally give this December to close the gap of our 2016 short fall, so we can start the New Year strong in the Lord to reach as many people in Killeen with the saving message of Jesus Christ as possible. Join us in our Pro-vision movement!
Live Holy – Preach Jesus,
Pastor Rick Helein, Ma, M.Div.
Pastor Rick Helein
Pastor Rick, a native of Northern Virginia just outside the nation’s capital, has followed the Lord’s leading in taking on the senior pastor role at Faith Fellowship. Pastor Rick holds a B.S. in religion and another in Psychology: Crisis Counseling, an MA in Pastoral Counseling, an M. Div. in Professional Ministries, and is finishing up his Doctoral work in Pastoral Counseling. Rick also holds multiple certifications in fitness training and sports massage therapy. The pastor is joined by his loving wife Gladys, and his two youngest children, Georgia and Charles.