We've been talking a lot about sacrifice over the past couple of weeks here at Schweitzer as we explore what it is God would have us do to support the growth of the church in our current stewardship focus, Growing God's Church. I'm amazed by the level of sacrifice we're hearing from members of the church. Every weekend Bob has shared stories of people giving up cable, eating out, home improvements, savings and much more. We've heard about people postponing retirement, new cars, iPhones and moving. God has seriously gotten into people's hearts about this issue – several people have talked about making decisions to double their pledge.
Sarah and I have wrestled a lot with what we're contributing to the campaign. Our budget is tight and we're not quite sure how that will change once Josiah is born later this month. One decision that we've made is that I'll be mowing our yard for the next three years. For the past two years we've paid some neighborhood boys to mow the lawn which has been great. This covers a portion of our pledge for about half of the year, we still haven't identified what we'll sacrifice for the rest of it, but we have faith that God will provide as we continue to tithe and give above and beyond for the ministries of the church.
I really do think that God honoring sacrifice is less about the
amount we give and more about the amount we have left over after we give. Every weekend we've shared testimony from people about sacrifice and this weekend we heard a great one from Billy & Regina Hower. This week Billy is even sacrificing a week away from work and his family to help our college ministry serve on their spring break mission trip. I love their openness, honesty and the challenge for all of us. Everything we have comes from God and we should just "give it up."
"This poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on." (Mark 12: 43-44)