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Christmas Missions Offering

Today the pastoral bloggers @ the Summit are collectively posting about our Christmas Missions Offering which we are currently in the midst of collecting. For theological conviction read Pastor J.D.’s blog, For campus specific commentary read one of our campus blogs which you can find linked over on the right. I will be honest, Ive got no clue what Jason Gaston or Danny Franks is gonna say, but im sure it will be useful, sarcastic, and generally entertaining. As for me? Oh Im totally about to tell you why the success of the church in actually BEING generous hinges on the transfer of vision from pastor’s mouth to small group members minds.

Welcome to a peek inside the minds of the pastoral staff at the Summit. Here is what they are thinking about the Christmas Missions Offering, that is, the offering we take up in december that we give 100% of to funding church planting efforts, community ministry, and more. They are all thinking (because I’ve told them to think this way) “If we can get our small groups on board, we are there, no problem.” In fact, any pastor of a small groups church is going to be thinking that way about any major initiative their church is taking. If they aren’t, they should.

Here is why they are thinking that way: Because they fully believe if someone is in a small group, they are getting the vision of our church communicated to them on a weekly basis. They (pastors) believe that person is being challenged spiritually and is involved in challenging others spiritually. They believe that person is coming to understand & live out what it means to be “missional” because they believe their small group leader is challenging them with the implications of the gospel on their lives. They believe, because the scriptures teach it, that discipleship happens in relationships and they believe those relationships are being formed in those small groups.

What you should hear there, is that your pastors firmly believe vision becomes action in and through small groups. Therefore, when we as a church learn from the scriptures that our natural response to the gospel is radical generosity, we actually hold one another accountable to that spirit of generosity through our small groups. Right now the Summit Church has 115 small groups with an average of 10 people per group. roughly 1150 people. Our goal for the Christmas Missions Offering…an offering of radical generosity….is set at $255,000. That means our small groups could account for 45% of our overall goal if they gave $100 per person. I absolutely recognize how much moola that is. I just spent 3 years in seminary living on intern & part-time wages. It might be a radical amount. It WILL mean less under the tree for my wife and I. but our first priority as a family is worshipping God who has been so radically generous to us. what if we gave $200 per? Im not making an idol out of the “goal” but I am definitely asking you to stretch your trust in God and your response to the gospel, if not through giving to this specific offering, it should through something.

Do you see why the success of the church hinges on the small groups? I hope so and I hope it pumps you up. Group Leader, how are you challenging your group? How are you challenging yourself and your family?

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