Today my pastor (National Community Church’s Mark Batterson) went through our annual report. There were a lot of impressive numbers and any organization would be proud of the growth, the giving, the numerous missions throughout the world, and the number of people who have been positively affected by the volunteers, members, and staff of NCC.
That’s all really great, but pastor Mark reminded us several times that every number is a person and every person has a story and it’s the stories that are important. We should be sharing our stories and praising God for our blessings.
At NCC we have three core convictions. The first is that the church ought to be the most creative place on the planet. I was smiling as Mark quoted Ephesians 2:10 (the scripture that inspired the Masterpiece Fund). God is infinitely creative (if you question that, take a look out the window at how beautiful our world is). And each of us is unique and special. No one can praise God the way you can—in your own unique and creative way. At NCC our beliefs are orthodox—our methods (meeting in movie theaters) are not.
Another conviction is that the church belongs in the middle of the marketplace. Wherever we are, there goes the church. We need live our lives out in the world and spread hope and love at every intersection and with every encounter.
A third core conviction is our belief that God will bless our church in proportion to how we give to missions and care of the poor in our city. As my family decides on the recipients of donations from the Masterpiece Fund, we pray. We ask for your prayers for us and the Fund as well. Mark preached that unless God builds the house, we labor in vain. We can promote the Masterpiece Fund and ask people to contribute, but unless we keep praying and following God’s plan, we won’t grow or prosper.
As we’ve mentioned on our web site, our hope is that we can feed thousands with small donations from people such as you. We believe God will bless the contributions so we can help more people. The more contributions come in, the more we can give away. The more we give away, the more we are blessed. We may not start off with lots of readers, or facebook likes, or big donations, but that’s okay, as long as it’s blessed by God and we start somewhere doing something.
But as I said earlier, it’s all about the stories. We want to hear your story. Whether it’s about a unique person you met this week or an inspirational message about an answered prayer, share your story!
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.”