I hope you have enjoyed as much as I have these Sundays in December as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, The Messiah Jesus! One lady visiting here from New Jersey asked me after service on Sunday, “Is it always this special?” Well, I hope so! As we gather to worship our Savior, everything about Him is truly special. This Saturday evening at 6:30 pm is an opportunity to share this special something with folks from all over Charlotte, with our own First Baptist Charlotte Worship Arts Team alongside one of Christian music’s favorites of this generation, Charles Billingsley. This will be a night to remember. Please take this evening and use it as a great time to invite some friends, loved ones, neighbors, or coworkers you believe would enjoy and truly benefit from a glorious evening of Christmas worship!
As I write to you this morning, I also want to highlight three great burdens which I am carrying, and with which I truly need your help. They are three areas of financial need which I am praying about daily.
First, I am carrying a great burden over our budget giving. After getting off to a great start in the first quarter of the fiscal year, July-September, we have taken a dip in October and November that has concerned me. While being slightly ahead in our giving to the budget by the end of September, we now find ourselves just over $150,000 behind our budget requirements for the first five months of the fiscal year. Please know that the tithes and offerings that you give to our budget are the lifeline that enables us as a church to function day to day, carry out the ministries God has placed before us, and to support missions locally and throughout the world through Cooperative Program. I am praying that as you consider all the ways God has blessed you this year, that you will always remain faithful to give your tithe to the Lord, “bringing it into the storehouse,” as Malachi describes, so that the work of First Baptist Charlotte will grow and continue to impact our culture as we live lives that matter.
Second, I am burdened for the support of our IMB missionaries, and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for our world missions. I know there is great economic uncertainty in these days. However, several things are certain: God is still on the throne. Men and women, along with their families, have left everything here to go and serve on foreign fields, and they are depending on us to support them. First Baptist Charlotte is one of the top 200 churches out of 42,000 SBC churches who support these folks. We cannot falter in being a leader. I need your serious prayers and to join me in making a sacrificial gift to help us reach our goal of $100,000. We are almost halfway there, but everyone needs to step up and help put us over the top.
Lastly, I am burdened for our Foundation for the Future giving. I mentioned last week that we are now into our final year of fulfilling our pledges and commitments. We have approved as a church family the last setoff projects which will finish out the nearly $2.8 million worth of projects that have greatly enhanced our facility. In fact, this year of giving will fund the new carpet, sound, lighting, and other items associated with the sanctuary. Please help us continue on the path of completing our Foundation for the Future campaign in a strong way. First Baptist family members are known for integrity and honor in fulfilling the commitments they have made. I hope you can join me in finishing well with this exciting experience of Foundation for the Future.
Thank you for taking the time to read this Life Matters article. Thank you for allowing me to communicate with you the burdens I have on my heart. Thank you in advance for the faithful way you always respond! May God richly bless you and keep you. I’ll see you on Sunday morning!
In His Love,
Wed, December 12, 2012
by Dr. Mark Harris filed under