Dear Friends,

I don’t have a catchy opening line. I would just like to share with you how I believe we are to think and pray about our local church and its finances. I say “local church” for guests and those who might read this online, but for those who call Messiah their church home, then these words are for us.

First of all, I believe Hudson Taylor wonderfully summarized much biblical teaching when he said, “God’s work done in God’s way will receive God’s supply.” My friend put it this way, “God can always pay when He orders a pizza.” What this means for us is that we need to mainly pray that we, as a church, know God’s will for us. We need to pray that we will recognize God’s leading. We need to pray that we will need to seek to do what God wills. We need to pray that most, if not all, of the people who make up Messiah will have a spirit of unity around God’s will. We need to pray that the Lord will help us know when to step out in faith to do something when we do not immediately have the resources. We need to pray that we will know when we should stop doing some things. We need to pray that we will have tender, self-effacing hearts so that if we try something in good faith but fail, that we will recognize this and repent and amend our lives to try again. Please pray that we know what divine assignments God has for us.

I love Hudson Taylor’s summary of biblical wisdom because it puts the emphasis on God’s will, not on money. The Bible text for today’s sermon (2 Corinthians 8: 9-24) reminds us of some aspects of God’s will. God’s will is that we look beyond our congregation in evangelism and mission and compassion. God’s will is that we handle His money under our care with great integrity. God’s will is that the money He provides be used so He is glorified in our church, our city and to the ends of the earth. God’s will is that we give for the church outside of the local church. Please let those truths shape your prayers for Messiah!

Finally, the biblical call to handle God’s money with integrity means that we need to come up with a budget for 2017. The Bible tells us to handle the money in our care in such a way that is honourable before men (Canada for us) and God. Having a budget is required by Canadian law. So we have a big dilemma. As Christians, we are required to acknowledge that only God knows the future. So we do not know how much money will be given to Messiah. But we need to come up with a budget. So please pray for the Council as it prayerfully discerns God’s will and then develops a God-honouring budget to present to the congregation by the end of February. Thank you for praying. Please pray! Please share your best wisdom with me and/or the Council.

George +