Rustlings (September 28, 2015)

Several days ago, I threw down some money, threw on a tux and attended the 2015 Rose Ball. It is billed as the South’s most elegant charitable gala.  Let me try to describe it. Imagine over 6000 roses and over 500 people crammed into an old southern mansion with food and dancing. It looked like prom for adults. It was an elegant gala – with great food, pleasant surroundings, quality music and good friends – but it was also charitable. I delighted in knowing that thousands of dollars were raised to benefit local agencies such as: A Child’s Haven, Meals on Wheels, Pendleton Place, Triune Mercy Center, United Ministries and Safe Harbor – just to name a few.

As a church, we decided to ‘live generously’ in 2015. We decided to embrace habits of generosity that would not only benefit our church, but also the community and world in which we live. Throughout the year, your Stewardship Committee and I have offered suggestions for living generously. Today let me suggest, that you choose a charity or charities in our community and make a gift. One of the reasons our church does not establish and maintain every ministry we imagine is because much of this work is already being done by people with whom we can easily support and partner. Being a generous, active part of the community is part of being church.

As we enter the final months of this year, give more to First Baptist Greenville than you gave last year. Better yet, give more than you planned to give this year. Most of us have been blessed beyond measure and have more than we need. And then, make a charitable gift to a local ministry that tugs at your heart. Volunteer some hours with that ministry if you have time. Let our generosity move far beyond our walls…

— Jim