There are currently 2 major giving campaigns in progress at Southern Hills. The first is the “Tithing Challenge” that began on February 2nd. The second is the “Next Step Offering” that will occur on March 23rd. In this post I will help our members and regular attenders determine which giving campaign is right for them.
This really can be a difficult call. In one corner we have the “Tithing Challenge” that allows a growing Christian to take a 3-month challenge to give 10% of their income to the Lord. This discipline helps the Christian to grow in grace (II Cor. 8:7), expand their worship (Phil. 4:18), and deepen their faith (Mal. 3:10). In the other corner we have the “Next Step Offering” that allows the Christian to become a visionary in their giving. Here the giver is looking beyond the temporary needs of today and making an investment in the future of Southern Hills and the Gospel message being shared in Las Vegas.
So, in which one will you participate? Let’s break it down in order to make an educated decision.
1. Take the Tithing Challenge
On February 2nd, we challenged the members and regular attenders of Southern Hills to give 10% of their income to the Lord as an act of worship throughout the months of February, March, & April. You can see this message here: Releasing God’s Abundance
Many people accepted this challenge. By faith and with a determination to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we have sacrificed, cut-back, and given in order to part of this 3-month adventure. I have already received emails, phone calls, and experienced personal conversations with individuals who have shared with me the blessings they have encountered since taking the challenge on February 2nd.
Perhaps you are one of these who have taken the challenge and are really tithing for the first time in your life. I want to encourage you to NOT give to the Next Step Offering. You must remember that you can only take one step at a time, otherwise you might get tripped up. If you have recently made the decision to step into the realm of tither, I want to encourage you to simply stay there for a while. Give yourself time to adjust and grow.
2. Give Big at the Next Step Offering
Southern Hills is a members-supported church. There are no outside financial contributors. There are no denominations, associations, foundations, or philanthropists that support this church. Our church is completely supported by the financial giving of our congregants. Every dime that comes in through the Tithing Challenge goes to our General Fund which is used for the operating budget of SHBC. In fact, all of the contributions that are given in the general fund are used for the day-to-day operational budget. So then, there are 3 major Funds to which a contributor is able to designate his giving. The General Fund is used for the operating budget of SHBC. The Missions Fund is used for advancing the Kingdom of God world-wide. (shbaptistmissions.com) The NEXT-STEP Fund is used for building of our future church campus. (nexstepoffering.com)
For those who are already tithing as part of their lifestyle of worship, we encourage you to take the next step and become an extravagant giver by giving to the Next Step Offering. We are SOOOO excited about what God is doing as He moves our church forward. We have been praying for years about our next facility as we continue to grow (now averaging over 650 every Sunday morning), and as we continue to add weekend services (currently at 3 morning & 1 evening). We know there will be a day that we are going to have to move to a bigger property with more space and more parking. That day is closer than ever before!
Through our Next Step Offering on March 23rd we are praying that God will allow us to TAKE THE LAND and permanently own, debt-free, our property. Though our church technically owns the 5-acre parcel on Torrey Pines and Pebble, there is still a $125,000 note on the property. We want to burn that note. We are praying that God would allow us to raise $125,000 on Sunday, March 23rd in order to pay off the land. This would put us in the position where we could be one step closer to constructing our new facility.
If you are already a tither, I am asking you to join Heather and I as we sacrificially give toward this visionary endeavor. Begin praying now about what the Lord would have you give. Listen to His words. Come on March 23rd and give in the offering what it is the Lord is leading you to give. you can also pray about giving a one-time pledge and/or a monthly commitment. You can see more about this here: Take The Land
3. Neither – Wait until you Grow as a Christian
Though this post is intended for those who are members & regular attenders of SHBC, reality tells me that there will be others who come across this post, and I specifically want to address those who are new to Southern Hills. Perhaps you have only been coming to our church for a few weeks. Perhaps you have not even visited yet but have been checking things out online first. I want to ask you not to give at all financially. Though some may disagree, I believe that tithing and grace giving are disciplines of the advanced Christian. If you are a novice to True Christianity, as your pastor I want you to take time to grow in your new faith before attempting these advanced disciplines. You may be coming back into the faith after years of wandering. I want you to understand my heart for you. There will be plenty of time for you to get financially involved later. For now I want you to focus on church attendance, purchasing a physical Bible, learning to pray, meeting other Christians at church, and signing up for Foundation 101 Class where you can learn more about becoming a disciple of Jesus sign-up here Foundation 101
Some of us will stick to the Tithe Challenge through April and not feel obligated by the Next Step Offering. Some of us will continue tithing as we have for sometime but will ask God what He would have us give to the Next Step Offering on March 23rd. Some of us will table the idea of financial giving and focus on our new dedication to Christ. As your pastor, I love you and am praying that this post will help you to grow in your faith and in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. See ya Sunday.
If you have any questions feel free to email me or Pastor Fred at any time.
(This post is intended for the members & regular attenders of SHBC. It is to be understood within the context of our last 5 weeks)
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