Recently, we have been discussing the subject of generous living in some of our pastors' events. Let me share with you a story that illustrates that God does bless generous giving and living.
Last spring, the District Transformation team visited the Niskayuna Wesleyan Church for a weekend consultation. Part of the prescription was to close the church building during renovation, spend two months having Church-in-the-Park, change the name and relaunch in October with a 'renewed focus on making more disciples'.
The Fusion Community Church of Cobleskill generously offered assistance to this sister church throughout these months of transition. They organized work teams to help with the renovations. They sent 25 - 30 people to help with the ministries and to aid in developing critical mass for the relaunch. And the missionaries, as they were called, were encouraged to direct their tithe to helping this new Kingdom endeavor.
The result... Awaken Church (the name of the relaunched Niskayuna Wesleyan Church) was greatly blessed by the prayers, love, energy, skills, services and finances of this group from Fusion. During the two-month period, Awaken received $800 per week that normally would have gone to Fusion. There were no complaints from Fusion. They were all in and although things were tight with this group and their wallets missing, they believed that generous, Kingdom-minded living was absolutely the way to go.
One Sunday in the early fall, Fusion had an unusual impromptu baptism service. Thirty-three individuals, some who had been putting off baptism for a long time, came forward and were baptized. This may have been, one old-timer told me, the single most outpouring of God's Spirit that this church has had in 50 years.
Last week, I received this email from Fusion's treasurer...
Pastor Paul, What a great God we serve! His blessings are too incredible to even contain in my little head at times. With quite a few of our better tithers at Awaken over the last 2 months things have been a little tight for us, but our God is faithful beyond measure! Today in our offering we received a check for $11,800.00!!!!! Total for the week was $22,600! Attendance was 413. Praise Him!! Andrew continued on the series with another great message that really spoke to most everyone. We are so privileged to be blessed by him as our leader! Wes
Was God's smile of blessing on this church a result of generous living. The pastor and people at Fusion certainly think so. And so do I!