(or How We Spend Your Money – Part 3)
I was recently at a conference where the speaker asked: What would someone notice about your church if you couldn’t explain anything to them? If someone just spent a month observing Pulpit Rock with no one trying to convince them about who you are or why you do what you do, what would they think?
It’s an interesting mental exercise. If you weren’t able to tell someone what is most important to you, would they be able to guess by simply watching what you spend time doing?
I’ve thought about this a lot for us. And I’m convinced that if someone observed us they would come to believe two things:
1. That people matter a lot to our church.
2. That relationships matter a lot to our church.
(Now of course, I would love to be able to explain how that is rooted in our belief about the gospel, and what Jesus has done for us – but that wasn’t the mental exercise.)
A huge part of church is the relationships we have with each other. And those friendships have always been a strength of our church.
When we give financially to this church, we are investing in friendships.
That’s kind of a weird thought, but a big part of what we spend money on around here is stuff that helps people connect with each other. We want Jesus to be at the center of that connection. But our friendships with each other are central to everything we do here at Pulpit Rock.
As a giver to this church, I’m so thankful for the value Pulpit Rock places on relationship. From a practical standpoint, that means that we invest in:
- Training group leaders and providing group curriculum.
- Brochures and resources that help people know what to do to find friendship here.
- Food. For everything from the Starting Point lunch, to pizza parties for Student Ministry.
- Everything related to our worship service – this is a “front door” for connecting to our church.
- Furniture where people can comfortably sit and talk and staff to set it up every week.
- Our staff team that focuses on shepherding adults and supporting opportunities for connection.
There is a lot that we are trying to accomplish as a church. But whatever we do is always grounded in the value of connecting with and loving each other.
Jesus said it this way “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
I don’t think he was saying that loving each other is the only thing that matters. He was just pointing out that loving each other is one of those things that should flow through everything we do.
If you give financially to this church – I’m so thankful that you’ve decided to invest in relationships. That is such an incredibly important part of who we are called to be. And the next time you notice 2 people in a deep conversation, or a group of people laughing, or someone warmly greeted – realize, your financial investment has helped make that happen.
If you don’t give to this church – let me challenge you to consider investing in those relationships. There is value in making the world a less lonely place. We’d be honored if you’d talk to God about giving here.
I’m tremendously thankful for the love that I see in this place.
I love you people.
Written by Jonathan Cleveland