So today, I want to give you a vision for our church that may go a bit over the line from preaching to meddling. But that’s what violating the status quo is all about. I want to start by telling you that I absolutely and completely love to talk about generosity. With all of my heart, I love talking about generosity. Probably because, quite honestly, I was not a generous person for a long time. In fact, I was the opposite of generous; I had the spiritual gift of being a tight wad. And the good news is that the work of God did a divine work in my heart and helped me to learn to be more generous. And now, as a church, quite honestly, I want one of our core values to be generosity. I think it is an aspirational value. We have generous people and we do generous things but I feel God is calling us to make that more a part of our DNA. I believe God is calling us to become irrationally generous because it is so very true that is is more blessed to give than to receive.
We have recently conducted a pledge campaign and a Ministry Fair. There’s a lot of good news in both and some challenging news. The good news is that our stewardship base is growing. We have received more pledges than we have received in recent years. We need to celebrate that. The bad news is that we have more families who don’t pledge than do. The result of that is that we may have to cut both programs and staff. It looks like, if we don’t find more people pledging in the next couple of weeks, our budget will be at least ten percent less than it was last year. I tell you this, not to beat you up, but to be transparent. For many of us, we might not realize that we are NOT sitting on top of an endowment that will help us through tough times. It’s easy to look at our physical plant and think we have plenty of financial resources. But the fact is that those who came before many of us, built the building with borrowed monies and we now have a two million dollar debt. We’ve been able to manage that debt but imagine what it would be like if we didn’t have to do that. I guess what I am saying is that if we were to become even more generous, we would have the resources to make an even larger footprint in the Katy area. We could become irrationally generous.