Greetings First Met,
Grace and peace to you and your family this Christmas season! Lady O and I want to express our sincere appreciation for your love, leadership and continued membership here at First Met. Your commitment to serve, promote and attend worship services/events throughout the year has made First Met a strong light in this community. We’ve experienced many mountain top moments this year, along with a few valleys. Through it all God has sustained us and caused all things to work together for our good. With his grace and favor we are finishing strong! We give all Glory to God!
As we prepare for 2016, I see God moving us towards something “Big”, so I want to challenge you to get ready. In reviewing the blessings God has given to us personally and as a church family, I have had to look at our giving and realize it has been a challenge for many of our members. We have a very strong core group of members who are committed tithers, but the majority of our members are non-tithers and a good group are not even good givers. With God’s favor and wisdom, we have remained strong! I don’t believe our giving for 2015 is an accurate reflection of how great God has been to us. While I am not one to ask for money, nor do I believe in strong tactics to get members to give, I do believe it is my responsibility as your Pastor to make you aware of your giving, teach you biblical truths and compel you to change your ways and honor God. God is going to do Big things, but we must do Big things with what He gives us.
So as we close this year and prepare for 2016 there are a few things I must ask of you: 1. Reflect on your giving last year and compare what you gave to what you should have given. This is easy. If you make 60, 000 dollars a year, your giving should be at least 6,000.00 by the end of December. 2. Pray and give God what is due Him. So simply put, give a gift to your church that reflects God’s blessings to you. If you are a tither, Lady O and I sincerely thank you for your steadfast support. We could have not made it without you! I am asking that you pray and give a gift that honors God. First Met, we must end the year strong and honorably. In 2016, We want God to bless us, bless our families, and bless our church. We cannot rob God and expect Him to bless us, so let’s honor God with our time, talent and treasure. Something Big is coming our way so we must Get Ready!
We have had a wonderful year, but the truth is we faced some giving challenges such as low giving and two months of stormy weather which caused extremely low attendance on those Sundays. When the majority of members are absent and forget to send in their tithes and offerings, the budget is not met. This process places the church in a position of trying to make up and catch up with the budget. Just like your household, the church needs a set amount of funds to function and meet the budgeted monthly expenses. When you are absent or when you forget to give, the bills still have to be paid. I am asking you to commit to giving a set amount every month to your church home. We create the budget based on expected funds from our members, therefore I am asking each of you to put God first in your giving by setting up automatic bill pay online: so when you are absent your church’s budget will be met. We must make sure God’s House is always taken care of. This honors God! “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you. Close the year with a steadfast giving attitude. Finish Strong”!
During the year, some of you became relaxed in your financial commitment to the kingdom of God. Sometimes distractions or devastation’s happen in our lives. Whatever the case, the past cannot be relived. Even though you missed some months in your giving, you still have December to make up and catch up, so Finish strong! In the next few weeks give in a manner that pleases the Lord. ‘Don’t give it all to the mall! Finish strong!
Christmas is all about giving. God saw the great need of mankind and gave His only begotten Son to us. “For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son…” (John 3:16) On the 25th of December, we celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ. Why not bring a special gift to the Lord this season? After, all it’s His birthday. Bring Him a gift worthy of who He is to you and all mankind. “And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11)
December is going to be an exciting month at First Met. Our young people with present a special Christmas worship on the 13th at both services. On Wednesday the 16th at 7:30 pm, we have our Annual Church Conference. The theme for the meeting is: God’s Up to Something Big! You’ll want to be present to hear and see what we expect God to do in 2016 with Discipleship, Evangelism, Youth, Marriages, Vision 2020, Facilities, Budget and Leadership. Don’t miss the Church Conference!
First Met has always been a giving church to others. This year, we sent Peanut Butter and built four homes for Haiti, we gave to Single Mothers, College Students, teachers, peace officers, back to school supplies, … Oh, don’t forget our big outreach to the community giving toys to needy families and: “Snow on the Beltway.” I know you will continue to give again this year. Finish Strong!
We are excited to bring to our campus again the Ensemble Theater’s production of “What Child is This?” on the 20th at 7 pm. So get here early and be in your seats for a night to remember. On Christmas Day at 10 am,, let’s gather to worship our savior on His Big Day. Each year our Christmas worship is so mystical and magnificent. It is a tradition you’ll want to make and keep. Your family will be so blessed!
December will close the year with our “Watchnight” Service, preceded by our Chili and Gumbo cook off/feast. Eating starts at 8 pm and worship at 10. See you in church this December.