This fall we launched our Imagine campaign and we have about 200 adults along with 50 children and youth enrolled in Financial Peace University (FPU) classes. Based on the teaching of money management guru, Dave Ramsey, participants are learning how to operate from a budget, get out of debt, save for emergencies, plan for college and retirement, buy the right insurance, and give generously. This is the second time I have gone through FPU and have found it extremely helpful both times.
One of the foundational principles of FPU is that we have to take control of our finances. Otherwise, money will become our master and we will be enslaved by it. It is exactly what Jesus was talking about when He said, “No one can serve two masters…You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24 NIV) So, the choice is ours: we can serve money or we can force money to serve us and God’s purposes. One of the ways in which we master our money is through giving. Generosity keeps us from serving money and its unquenchable thirst for more. At the same time, it allows us to serve God, our true Master and Friend, by financially supporting His on-going work in the world.
On Sunday, November 5th, we are asking every member and participant in the life of the Lynn Haven United Methodist Church to take control of their finances and use their God-given resources to serve Christ and His Church. While no one will be forced to do so, everyone will be invited on that day to make a financial commitment toward our 2018 ministry budget. Also, since stewardship includes wise and godly management, not only of our treasures, but also of our time and talents, we want everyone to volunteer for at least one area of service for the coming year as well. In such a way, we fulfill our God-given destiny and become the generous givers He designed us to be. Each of us has been made in God’s image and He is the greatest Giver of all since He gave the supreme gift of His Son Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world.
Please plan to join us on November 5th as we “imagine being a cheerful giver.” If, for some reason, you cannot attend worship, please complete the commitment sheet you receive in the mail and return it to the church office or go on-line to www.myLHUMC.net and record your pledge.
I do not have to “imagine” what it is like being the pastor of a generous congregation because I already am. On an almost daily basis, I have a front row seat and witness the faithfulness of our members who freely and gladly give their time, money, and energy to serve God and fulfill our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ. Thank you for what you are already doing and imagine all the Lord wants to do in and through this fellowship of believers. Best of all, God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)
To God be the glory,
Craig CarterLead Pastor, LHUMC