For 162 years, Baptists have been following Christ in Lawrence, Kansas…
Welcoming all God’s children into our midst in order to follow Christ together.
Worshipping with excitement and reverence in spiritual relationship with God and one another.
Working to be the hands and feet of Christ in our community and around the world.
Wondering in awe at the majesty of God as we watch, listen, discuss, and pray with each other.
Now, in our 162nd year, we begin a new initiative that ties us to that tradition, and prepares us for the future together:
Over the last several years, many of you have given faithfully to two separate funds: the annual campaign and the capital campaign. Together, we have done incredible ministry, served as a sending church over and again, and retired over half a million dollars in debt (!) from our building expenses. But two funds can be confusing and discourage new givers from participating in generous giving. Thus, during 2018, every gift given to First Baptist will help us grow in ministry, empower disciples, prepare for unforeseen emergencies, and continue to reduce the debt on our building in order to free up that money for more ministry.
One church. One fund. One goal: to love God, love others, and serve the world. Project: One62.
I Corinthians 16.2 (get it?) contains Paul’s command to the church at Corinth to set aside their money, regularly and consistently, so that he would not need to beg for financial help when urgent needs arose. He had learned throughout his ministry that thoughtful preparation, sustained generosity, and careful planning allowed the church to be open and nimble for ministry when the Spirit called. He encouraged them to “put aside and save what extra you can” so that God’s purposes could be fulfilled and abundance shared.
During the coming year, we have the opportunity to follow the Corinthian congregation’s example. Throughout 2018, may we “put aside and save what extra (we) can” in order to continue to be a people committed to God’s purposes, radical in our generosity in Christ’s name, and open to the winds of the Spirit as we prepare for the years ahead. It is a radical goal. But we serve a radical God. With God’s help and our work together, we will accomplish…Project: One62.
WHERE DO I FIT IN?
An Initial Giver?
You are taking your first step of faith and giving to the church for the first time ever. This is an exciting moment and should be celebrated!
A Consistent Giver?
You are making a choice to give consistently and regularly. You may do this through online giving, creating a household budget, and/or by determining when you will choose to give at the same time on your calendar.
You are giving in ways that allow yourself and your giving patterns to be transformed by your faith and trust in God. This includes regularly sacrificing other spending priorities (eating out as often, buying that latte every morning, etc.) in order to be able to give more to the ministries of the church.
A Percentage Giver?
You are choosing to consistently give a percentage of your income to God’s mission through First Baptist. Ancient believers used the process called a tithe in order to return back to God a tenth of what they had received. Many Christians begin with a smaller percentage and grow into the tithe.
A Lifetime Giver?
You stop asking God “how much do you want me to give?” and instead ask “how much do you want me to keep?” You are a lifetime sacrificial giver, who puts a cap on spending, even in significant purchases (cars, investments, house, etc.) in order to commit to supporting the church. As well, you make plans for estate giving in order to continue your support of ministry beyond your lifetime.
Paul recognized the diversity of the Church in his metaphor of the Body of Christ. The Church is made up of those with varied gifts and abilities, each necessary to the health of the congregation and larger Church. All those who are willing to share their gifts – financial and otherwise – at FBC are crucial to the health and well-being of the Church and its ministries. Where do you fit in, and how might God be inviting you to give and/or transform your giving patterns?
* Adapted from Stonegate Church, Midlothian, TX. Scroll to bottom for expanded descriptions.
GOALS & PROCESS
Together in 2018, we will raise $425,000 in order to grow in ministry, empower disciples, prepare for unforeseen emergencies, and continue to reduce the debt on our building in order to free up more money for ministry. Our Finance Ministry has recommended the following estimated budget in 2018:
- ~ $350,000 Annual Expenses (including ministry expenses, staff, and facilities expenses)
- ~ $50,000 Retirement of Debt (currently approximately $500,000 remaining on mortgage)
- ~ $25,000 Intentional Reserve (to address issues of depreciation of the building and unforeseen emergencies)
- Total: $425,000
In order to accomplish this goal, we will select a chair and form a Steering Committee (made up of the chair, the senior pastor, and team leaders from each of the following teams)
Plans events to teach stewardship, contacts members/attendees individually prior to Commitment Sunday to answer questions about campaign, follow-up after Jan 1 to support givers and/or answer questions
Develop campaign prayer, create prayer cards to print, plan and conduct prayer events/activities, produce devotional booklet
Thank and recognize pledgers/givers, hand-written thank you notes/gifts
Develop campaign slogan, design campaign graphic, campaign newsletters, design brochure, do local publicity, social media/videos, etc.
Plan activities for children and youth re: campaign
Develop plan to get best attendance at events, keep track of who attends, plan and coordinate meals for these events, arrange campaign celebration after commitment Sunday, send out invitations to the event, manage event (childcare, set-up, clean-up, etc.)
Building Hospitality Celebration Banquet and Project: One62 Planning Kick-off and Team Sign-up
September 10-November 5
Teams work to build momentum and plan for November Roll-out
Hands and Feet of Christ Service Weekend
Hearts for Work Ministry Fair
Heads of Gratitude Celebration and Banquet
January 1, 2018
Project: One62 one-year commitments begin
WHAT KIND OF GIVER ARE YOU?
(adapted from Stonegate Church, Midlothian, TX)
This type of giver is someone who decides to give for the first time and trust God and the leaders of the church with the gift. During our “All-In” initiative, many will take their first step of faith by making their first gift to the kingdom of God through First Baptist Church of Lawrence.
To become an Initial Giver, consider making your first gift to First Baptist Church of Lawrence.
This type of giver is someone who decides to give something and to give it on a consistent basis. This is someone who thinks of their giving in the same way they would about other expenses in their budget that are paid regardless of seasons of feast or famine. This often requires planning, and sometimes this might be a reason for someone to set up recurring gifts online or to become disciplined with giving through envelopes or checks during Sunday gatherings.
To become a Consistent Giver, consider:
- Setting up a recurring gift through First Baptist Church of Lawrence’s Online Giving (preferably through debit card).
- Budgeting specifically for giving in the same way you would your other monthly expenses. (1 Cor. 16:1-2)
- Proactively scheduling when you’re going to consistently give on your calendar.
This type of giver begins asking the question, “Why am I giving more to my cell phone bill than I am giving to God? Should I be giving to God more than I give for my mortgage each month?” This giver starts to make their giving an intentional choice that reflects how they feel about it in relation to other things they spend their money on. This may also be the point of intentionality when someone begins to tithe, reflecting that they are being intentional about a certain amount or percentage they want to give to Jesus.
To become an Intentional Giver, consider:
- Giving in relation to other monthly financial commitments (such as cell phone, mortgage/rent, insurance, etc.) and determining an intentional step to grow the priority of your giving.
- Choosing a percentage that would represent a new level of giving for you, potentially a tithe. (Malachi 3:10)
This type of giver begins to ask the questions, “Am I giving in a way that changes me?” “Am I giving in a way that causes my lifestyle to be different to reflect the transformation Christ is making in me?” A sacrificial giver’s commitment to giving actually governs the rest of his/her lifestyle. A sacrificial giver has a giving commitment that is “larger than their current situation” so that they must adjust the rest of their expenditures to meet that commitment.
To become a Sacrificial Giver, consider:
- Looking at the dollars you are not giving and prayerfully consider if God is asking you to release a portion of those back to Him.
- Evaluating if your giving is really costing you something or if it has become comfortable or routine. (2 Samuel 24:24)
- Determining if there are resources God has blessed you with in the past (savings, stock, retirement, etc.) that God is asking you to release as a sacrifice to Him.
This type of giver is no longer asking the question, “God, how much are you asking me to give?” A lifetime giver is asking the question, “God, how much are you asking me to keep?” They ask this so they can release the rest for kingdom purposes. Much like a sacrificial giver makes a commitment that will govern his/her monthly and annual decisions, a lifetime giver makes a lifetime or long-term giving commitment that governs his/her long-term decisions like homes, cars, investments, projects, etc.
To become a Lifetime Giver, consider:
- Putting a cap on spending and saving so every additional dollar goes towards kingdom giving.
- Setting a lifetime generosity goal (a specific number) for your family’s kingdom giving over the course of your life.
- Engaging in estate planning (or revise your current plan) to accurately reflect your kingdom giving priorities.
- Leveraging your own journey of generosity to encourage and inspire kingdom generosity in the next generation. (Proverbs 13:22)