Most of my Christmas shopping is complete. I always save at least one gift to be purchased on Christmas Eve. I actually love the hustle and bustle of the last day before Christmas. It’s a personal tradition. For the most part, I’ve stayed within budget and have expended all the money I will expend on Christmas gifts this year. I have not, however, expended all the money I will share with God and God’s work in the world. There are at least three places that I will generously express gratitude to God this year.
I will be making another gift to our church’s Mission and Ministry Plan (the budget). For the last five budget cycles, we have exceeded our budgeted amount. Our corporate generosity in this area allows our church to fulfill all—truly all—of her mission and ministry goals. No ministry, minister or missionary goes lacking. I hope you will make an extra gift to the budget before the end of the year as well.
I will also be making a donation to the Lula Whilden World Mission Offering. I attended the first meeting of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) over 20 years ago. At that meeting, I raised my hand and promised to support the field personnel (missionaries) that were willing to commit their lives to the work of God in the world. I have the same commitment for the work of our state CBF and for the Alliance of Baptists. I can’t be—you can’t be—in every nation of world, every county of our state and every battle for justice, so I make sure to generously support those who are called to these arenas of ministry. I hope you’ll give a gift to the Lula Whilden Offering and help us reach our $125,000 goal.
Finally, I’m going to support the good work of organizations outside our church. God is working in so many places, with so many people and in so many ways. (You’ll probably never hear another minister say this, but…) Don’t give all your money to the church. Share a gift with the non-profit work in the world that is an extension of your heart and your passion.
It’s the season of giving. In the measure that God has been generous to you…practice generosity.