10/8/2004 7:33 AM
Title: TRUST IN GOD ALONE
S: “.and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the LORD my God and
prayed..” Ezra 9:5, 6 “all these people gave their gifts out of their
wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke
O: Ezra fell on his face trusting God in all things. He went to the only
source who could convict the people that things needed to change – he was
primarily dealing with the intermarriage issues here. The widow, trust God
alone to sustain and take care of her. She went to the only source who
could make things work.
A: I’ve just spent the last hour looking at the budget and wondering how I
am ever going to make it work. I have to come up with about $10,000 more
per month than I’m currently coming up with in order to survive. That does
not include what we’re spending in reserves. That does not include what we
currently raise in monthly income.
I seem to have two options before me, maintenance or trust. I’m not very
good at maintenance and I’m not very good at trust. Right now I wish I were
better at both – or at least one or the other. I am afraid of the future.
I’m afraid of what will happen. Are we trying to overstep our boundaries?
Are we trying to overstep ourselves on any of this? Should we not be doing
Leo’s Meetings? Should we not be doing another series in October? Should
we not have asked for two salaries from the congregation? Should we not be
trying to grow the church? Should we not be moving forward? Are we going
I’m deeply troubled by all this. As I work through this budget, I realize
that we’ve been immensely fooling ourselves this last year and a half on
what it really costs to operate a church on our scale. My churches in
Lebanon and Sweet Home ran each on a budget of $3-4000. There’s no way a
church the size of The Adventure can run on a budget like that. It’s true,
we aren’t supporting two facilities like Lebanon and Sweet Home were. But
it’s also true that this church costs us more than we expected or even
I’m deeply troubled. How do I make this work? How do I bring this
together? I can cancel Leo and the October meetings. That will accomplish
likely most of what we need to do financially with the budget. But I’m so
VERYT convinced that Adventist churches grow differently than other
churches. We need to keep doing evangelism and we need to do it a lot if we
want to grow a lot. If we want to keep reaching people, we need to keep
The current Prophecy Explosion series is playing out pretty well like I’ve
predicted. We’re reaping people we’ve been working with. But the already
actively churched, we’re losing. The people between churches, we’re hanging
on to, but won’t get a decision out of them to join this week when the
meetings end, but they may begin attending, and the unchurched are the new
interests. Adventist churches grow differently.
P: Lord, I know that you are in charge of this situation. I cannot figure
it out. I’ve crunched and recrunched the numbers again and again. Each
time it gets worse as to what we’ll need. Yes, there’s some padding that
can be cut, but the major things are still in place and still there that
need to be there. We can’t grow without them, Lord. But we can’t afford to
Okay, Lord, now I’m showing my lack of faith. The money is there. All our
monthly budget looks like is the same as we bring in tithe each month also.
And only 22 people give 85% of our budget. If we could get:
1. a few more people to actually start giving
2. people who pay only tithe to start giving to church budget also
3. a few more new givers to the church budget
4. increase the giving of some who are now giving regularly
Lord, I don’t think any of those are impossible. The raw numbers look VERY
SCARY! But when I think that if we could only get a few more people that
would increase their faith and actually give or actually give more than just
I know, Lord, that you’ve slowing increased Gail and I from giving 10% to
giving 15%, then to 20% and now to about 25% of our income. I couldn’t have
imagined it 10 years ago. I’ve realized that I cannot outgive you.
But how do I get that message out there to the people who only pay tithe?
Or how do I get that message out there to the people who pay tithe and give
only $20 a month – then want to accuse me of not having faith to do
something great for you? How do I get the 80% of the people out there to
actually give to the bigger cause – the world, and locally to The Adventure?
Lord, I need to learn a lot about this right now! I need your help in
becoming the chief resource raiser in this church. I need your faith that
you are calling us to do something great and that I’m not just leading the
church down a presumptuous path. Please guide me. Please help me. Please
increase my faith!!!!
I love you, Lord. I do trust you. But I am also asking for wisdom. I am
asking for wisdom to lead. I am asking for wisdom to increase our giving at
The Adventure. I am asking for wisdom to NOT bite off more than I can chew.
I pray, Lord, for the Holy Spirit. Please continue to guide us. Please
continue to lead us. Please continue to focus us. Please be in charge,
Lord. Please give us your Holy Spirit. I love you.
Lord, like the widow, I want to trust you with everything I have –
financially, emotionally, physically, mentally and all the stuff I have. I
trust you with ME. I surrender all to you and I want to give you everything
I have. I love you and I trust you.