We’ve all had years that are life-changing.
These years are typically marked by significant events that change the course of our lives. We refer to these moments as milestones because we are rarely the same after they occur.
I believe 2019 is a life-changing year for University Baptist Church. This is the year we reach a significant milestone. Ninety years. Ninety years since our church began through the courageous prayers of our brothers and sisters who desired revival in this community. This is the year we celebrate our rich heritage. Yet, what I believe will make this year so defining is not so much how we celebrate the past but how we begin to live into our future.
There are three challenges we want to introduce to help us prepare for the opportunities this year will present.
Pray for the power of the Spirit
Challenge yourself to pray daily for God’s Spirit to be evident in your life. Ask yourself, “Is my life in step with the Spirit?” “Do I truly feel God’s power in my life?” As we see it in the opening pages in the book of Acts, waiting and praying for the Spirit of God to come with power always has been and always will be the foundation of the Church. Embrace this role and daily pray for God’s Spirit to be evident in your life.
Embrace the sacrifice of financial generosity
I’m asking everyone to evaluate the financial sacrifices they are willing to make so that we can live into a new identity of generosity.
- First, evaluate your long-term financial commitment to the church. We are not merely seeking to meet a budget; we are desiring to pursue a vision. That is only possible if we all embrace a personal commitment to sacrificial generosity. Whether you’ve never given before or have given for decades, ask yourself, “Am I sacrificially giving in a way that helps achieve God’s vision for UBC?” Then respond with a long-term commitment of sacrificial giving.
- Secondly, I’m asking you to prayerfully consider a one-time financial gift over and above your long-term commitment. We are setting a goal to generate $180,000 to propel our church into the next ninety years. Our plan is to use $90,000 within our walls and $90,000 beyond our walls. For within the walls, we are developing much needed plans to improve Harris Hall and the flooring throughout the first floor. Beyond the walls, we want to distribute $90,000 to support our community. We are finalizing plans to support organizations in the areas of human trafficking, orphan care and local schools. We believe this challenge will help us become a church that is known for its generosity. Begin praying how you might respond and be looking for more details in the near future.
Be disciples who make disciples
Finally, commit yourself to declare the good news to those who need to hear it. Ask yourself, “Who is in my life that is far from God?” “What am I actively doing to help them grow in their relationship with Christ?” Maybe it’s three people, five people, seven or twelve. Regardless of the number, commit to praying for and investing in the people in your life who need to grow in their relationship to Christ.
Our theme for the year is Promises. We want to follow the example of our brothers and sisters in the book of Acts and the ones who founded our church by being courageous enough to boldly stand on the promises of God. We embrace the promise of the Church and the promise of the Holy Spirit so that we can see God do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine. To Him be the glory.
IN HIS GRACE,