Thursday, February 14, 2008

The struggling heart of a giver (1 of 3)

Our church is in a building expansion project. We have plans and have bids for building it. We just voted to continue with this project. I am excited about all of this and cannot wait to see how God is going to use the expansion in our community.

This will be the first building expansion campaign I have been apart of. My home church did one, after I left for college. The church I attended while in college did one, but I was gone for a lot of it (as it happened a lot over the summer). At my first full-time ministry we were in the beginning of an expansion/move/something when I left. So I've been involved with a few, from a distance. I've seen the benefits of an expansion. I've seen the difficulties that come with the process. But this part of the process has not weighed heavy on my heart. Like I said, I'm excited.

One thing has been heavy on my heart: the amount of money my family can (will) contribute to the expansion. We want to help as much as we can. I've been praying about it for at least 2 months (as I knew this day would come). A few weeks ago, the commitment cards were collected. I know you can give more or less than what you write down, but I didn't want to quickly write a number that can't be met or a number that is "easy" to reach.

Here is my struggle. For the weeks leading up to turning the cards in, I didn't feel like I had an answer to how much we can give over three years. The week before the cards were due, my wife and I sat down to talk more about it. I still didn't have an answer and felt a little frustrated that I didn't know. I felt (still do) particularly obligated to go big with my giving - I am the youth minister after all. I should have a lot of faith to step out and say "here's a months worth of grocery money." And have faith God will provide the food we needed.

I could not say that, though. I did not feel God was leading us to give up that kind of sacrifice. That is where my struggle was. I felt like I should have been able to do that. And I wanted to, at least part of me did. The other part of me wanted to be more practical. (more on the struggle in part 2)

Have you ever felt like you should be able to trust God more than you think you can?

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