October 4, 2022
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Greetings and blessings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I am encouraged to be able to share with you some important information for our church family as we flip the calendar to October.
As you may know, back in July, by a unanimous vote, we adopted an updated master plan to guide our future facilities improvements. As the various committees have been praying and considering the best time and way to proceed, we have continued experiencing significant growth in our preschool.
As a result, the Long-Range Planning Committee recommended, and the church unanimously approved, the formation of a Fundraising Committee to guide our efforts in securing the support needed to update and unify our preschool and children’s spaces and make some aesthetic and acoustic improvements to the gymnasium to make it more suitable for worship.
If you have been able to join us on Sundays, you have likely noticed that people are gradually returning, and the Lord has graciously sent new people our way. If you are physically able and have not yet re-joined us for worship, I want to encourage you to come and get in on what God is doing – He is up to something! If you are unable to physically join us, I hope you are connecting through the livestream. If you need assistance with the livestream, please let Cindy in the office know; we would be delighted to help you.
Our church has been wonderfully blessed with significant gains in attendance over the past year, which has resulted in another remarkable blessing, exponential growth in our preschool. We now have an opportunity to wisely steward these blessings by pouring God’s Word into the hearts and minds of these precious children and by pursuing the completion of the first phase of the master-plan improvements.
However, I am convinced we need something more than an improved facility. We need a renewed passion for Christ. We need to hunger and thirst for righteousness. We need to treasure Jesus above all other treasures. Indeed, I’m convinced that when God graciously gives us an insatiable hunger for Jesus – when He is the One we treasure – the church’s budget and facilities will naturally follow. As Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:21).
So, beginning later this month, we are going to do something a bit different. To put this as plainly as I know how, I’m going to pour my heart out for, I pray, our good and the glory of King Jesus. I’m going to urge us to be vulnerable and open before the Lord. I am praying daily, asking the Spirit to help us treasure Jesus like never before. We will have a series of sermons culminating on Sunday, November 13, with an invitation for everyone. That’s right, everyone who calls North Roanoke home will be encouraged to make a two-year faith commitment that represents what the Spirit leads you to give as an act of devotion to King Jesus.
We will not be having a typical “building campaign” or a “capital campaign.” Instead, we will examine our lives, be open to the Spirit’s leading, and make a commitment of our lives and finances to Jesus. I like to call this a “comprehensive generosity initiative.” Its focus is not primarily on a building but on our hearts and all that Jesus wants for us.
At this point, you may have some questions. I promise to answer those as we get started. We will provide you with a resource guide complete with FAQs and devotions for you/your family to read during the coming weeks. I am absolutely convinced that if we engage this season with intentionality, Jesus will do deep, profound, and wonderful things in us and through us. So, before we begin this initiative, I am writing to ask you for four things:
First, please do not surrender to skepticism. If you sense skepticism welling up within your heart, recognize Satan does not want you or our church to experience the victory that comes when we treasure Jesus together, and pray. Ask Jesus to soften your heart; ask the Spirit to make you open to God’s will.
Second, please pray for me as I prepare and preach each week and for our entire church as we respond to what God will show us.
Third, please make consistent use of the devotion because 1) like anything else, we will get out of this initiative what we put into it, and 2) selfishly, I put my heart and soul into the devotions because I love you and long to see God work powerfully among us.
Fourth, finally, and most importantly, be expectant and be present each Sunday. Do your very best not to miss. Pray with expectancy for God to work among us, and then, be present for worship. God works in profound ways in expectant and consistently-present congregations, and I am so encouraged when you are here for the worship gathering!
Thank you for your time and attention to this letter. I cannot wait to worship with you.
In His abounding love,