Come and See What One Can Do!
“A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then [Jesus] called his disciples and said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on’” (Mark 12:42-44).
Several years ago now, I was walking down the corridor at St. John’s that connects the sanctuary end of the building with the Parish Life Center end of the building. It was a late Tuesday afternoon. About half way down the corridor, I was met by one of our high school youth who was dropping something off at the church. Upon seeing me, she had a most surprised expression on her face and exclaimed, “What are you doing here?” I laughed. Though she and her family saw me in worship each and every Sunday, she could not figure out what I would possibly be doing at church on a Tuesday afternoon!
I don’t think this high school girl’s reaction is necessarily unique. There are many disciples in the church who think that the only ministry that happens during the week is the one or two hours they are here on Sunday mornings. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth, especially here at St. John’s. Ministry at St. John’s happens nearly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Whether it’s caring for those in the hospital or going through life’s crises, filling bags of groceries at the Grace Food Pantry, welcoming our 188 preschool children and their families, participating in a Connect huddle, or rehearsing for Sunday morning worship, the ministry of Christ in and through our congregation happens all day every day!
Inevitably, all of this daily ministry comes with a financial cost. In 2018, our General Operating Fund budget totals $1,031,562. The General Operating Fund supports all of the ministry that happens in and through St. John’s, as well as providing vital support to the larger church beyond our walls. Let me break this number down a bit for you. Based on this year’s budget, our cost of doing ministry at St. John’s is $2,826 per day, $118 per hour, and $2 per minute! While an annual budget of over $1 million can seem a bit daunting, to think that all of the ministry that happens in and through our congregation is being done at a cost of just $2 per minute is pretty amazing! At the same time, these numbers also challenge us to consider how many minutes of ministry per week we are supporting with our offerings! Are you paying for 5 minutes of ministry per week? 10 minutes? An hour?
As we look to 2019, we are asking each disciple at St. John’s to consider growing their giving to the General Operating Fund by ONE! What does ONE mean? Well, that’s up to each ONE of us to decide for ourselves! On the following pages, you will find three possible options for how each of us might consider growing our giving by ONE. I invite you to consider each option and then choose the option that works best for you. If all of us work together to grow our giving by ONE, the possibilities for how God might use this growth in giving to grow our ministry are limitless!
So, read through the pages that follow. Consider which option might work best for you. Then, complete both the 2019 Financial Commitment Card and the 2019 Time, Talents, and Touch Response Form. Finally, bring both of these completed forms with you to worship on Commitment Weekend, November 10-11, as we present our commitments to God in response to all that God has first done for us.
Remember the widow in Mark 12? Though she was just ONE person and though her giving amounted to just ONE penny, it was this ONE that caught Jesus’ attention and that Jesus used to teach his disciples about true generosity. How is God calling you to grow your giving by ONE? Inspired by the widow’s example, let us join together to come and see what ONE can do!
Come and see +