Summary: This sermon deals with the need to have a vision if we plan to be successful in what we strive to do for the Lord.
Victory Starts With A Vision
Today we celebrate Victory Sunday in which we bring in the first part of our offering for our Excelling in Giving Campaign. This Sunday started with a vision at our leadership retreat. Saints at the beginning of the year there was a meeting of the pastors, the elders, the lay pastors, the deacons, and the heads of organizations regarding our church’s future.
We knew the Spirit was leading us to excel in the way we are doing our ministry for the cause of Christ. We also knew it was going to cost us money to move forward with our vision . Together we came up with our future Campaign Slogan, “Striving for Excellence, Excelling in Our Giving.” It took about 5 votes to get to that slogan and another three votes to choose the logo of the hands and the dove.
We then voted on whether or not we would have a professional campaign partner come alongside us as we had done when we did our last campaign 10 years ago. The price tag back then for that professional consultant was $26,000.00. As a group we decided that we had learned enough from the first campaign to be equipped to take a step of faith to do it on our own with the Spirit’s leading. We had confidence in the leadership ability God has poured into our church.
The large group of leaders then turned the next step of building a Campaign Team over to the staff. At our staff meeting, we took the position the consultant had in the first campaign and carved it into 4 slices. One slice went to Pastor Toby, one slice to Pastor Kellie, one slice to Sylvia and the other slice to me. From there we sought the Lord for who should be the co-directors and the heads of the different committees. One we secured Shannon and Gail as our co-directors, we knew we were on the right track. The committee heads chose people to work with them.
By us all having a shared vision we launched into our Campaign not knowing what exactly the Lord was going to do through us all. Some wanted to know how much money were we asking for. I didn’t want to come up with a figure, but the calls continued to come in for an amount. So we looked at what we wanted to do, and what we thought the cost might be and added it all up. It came to $200,000.00 There were those who said, now is not the time with the economy being what it is to ask for that much money. But when God says to do something, then it’s time to move forward and do it. Victory only comes about with a vision in mind.
We did not ask anyone for a specific amount of money. We asked everyone to be willing to make a sacrifice in their lifestyle so that they could give. Our sub theme was “not equal giving, but equal sacrifice.” Everybody can choose whether or not to make a sacrifice. We had our Kickoff Sunday in a combined worship service in September. This was followed with a Leadership Dinner, Pie Visits to almost everyone in the congregation who requested one, a 24 Hour Prayer Vigil, 2 Prayer Walks in the community , and a combined Celebration Sunday service and brunch afterwards.
The number of people who have worked on our Excelling For Giving Campaign has been awesome. Some of you poured your gifts and talents into the vision in a way that was so honoring to the Lord, that a party must have taken place in heaven itself. Every group in the church has played a role in the campaign which is exactly how it should be.
We began the round of pledges first with our two pastoral families, the Sullivan’s and the Gillespie-Mobley’s. A week later, our next group of pledges came from our leaders from the leadership banquet. A week later our next group of pledges came from the congregation On Celebration Sunday. That which began with nothing but a vision, now has a commitment of $175,000 in pledges which means we are at 88% of the goal we’ve set for the cause of Christ.
We have 12% to go in waiting for some of the others of you who have not pledged to join those already listed in today’s bulletin. Some of the 12% will be made up by many of you who wrote on your pledge sheet, this is the minimum I will be giving which means you’re believing God for even more. We say thank you for your willingness to go without something for the next two years so that we could be obedient as a church in excelling in our giving for the cause of Christ.