Taking a Leap of Faith

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CtK SanctuaryWhen Emily and I made the decision to come to Christ the King, we took a huge risk. For the first time in our married life together, we would be living on one income instead of two. So how did respond? We bought a house! Talk about a leap of faith! And now we are expecting our first child. Needless to say, Emily and I have had quite a lot of transition in our lives since June, and with a new mortgage and a new baby on the way, we decided to enroll in a class called Financial Peace University. This class is taught at Seagrove Baptist Church every Monday evening, and is based on the book and DVD series by Dave Ramsey.

But unlike many “control your money so your money doesn’t control you” classes, the purpose of this class isn’t to teach us how to get rich so we can retire early and have a bunch of nice stuff. The purpose of the class is simply to teach people how to be better stewards of their money. After all, if we look at money from a biblical perspective, our money isn’t really ours. It is a gift that we have received, and therefore, as good stewards of this gift, it is something we should manage well and share with others.

Not only has this class been helpful for Emily and me given our recent life changes, it is timely because we are coming up on stewardship season here at Christ the King. The thing is – I’ve never run a stewardship campaign before. “Raising money” is not the reason I felt called to ordained ministry, and it wasn’t a class that I took in seminary (though that wouldn’t be a bad idea). So, just like “rectorhood” and parenthood, this is all new territory for me.

That being said, I know enough to know that most people simply do not like talking about money, particularly in church. Money is one of those touchy subjects. I was raised in a household and in a church where money was never discussed. It was actually seen as being in poor taste to do so. Yet Jesus spoke about money/economics more than anything else in the Bible. So it clearly was important to him, even if it got him into trouble (which it did).

This might be my first stewardship campaign as a rector, but I know enough to know that without money, we cannot be the church I believe we are called to be. Some might say, “what about time and talent? Isn’t that just as important?” Of course time and talent are important!  But what Jesus said still holds true: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  It is also true that without money, much of what you love about Christ the King would not exist.  Ministry is about more than just money, but money is an essential part of our ministry at Christ the King, and financial generosity is an important part of our personal spiritual health.

So over the next six weeks, I am going to be talking a lot about money. I invite you to join me in looking at stewardship more as an invitation rather than an obligation. And I invite you to join me by taking a leap of faith. I couldn’t have taken the leaps of faith that I recently have without knowing that Emily is right by my side. The same goes for us as a church. We can’t do this alone. We’re in this together!

See you Sunday!
Richard

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