Finances has been a bit of a balancing act in the last two years. Twice in the last two years, North Creek has gone at least $10,000 into debt. Once for start up costs and again last fall after an unexpected dip in the income last summer.
As we crept into the month of October 2007, we were in a bit of a panic. We would “joke” at staff meeting about whether we would still be open next week. However we all were keenly aware that our jokes would be a reality without a significant move from God. Our faith was strong, but nonetheless, we were trying to be as calm as possible.
It was in early November that we were invited to our friend’s church (Troy Jones from New Life at Renton). He was in the middle of a series about reaching out and North Creek was going to be the highlight for the day. We went and bragged about all of the things that God had done in the last year since our birth.
It was so refreshing to be in an established church again and to feel the love and acceptance from their congregation. I still look back on that morning with thankfulness. After over a year of agonizing work, tears flowed down my cheeks that morning as I just got to worship without responsibilities. It was a respite in the middle of chaos. Although I was loving every minute of planting a church, I needed that break more than I think I wanted to admit.
That morning New Life took an offering to support us. An astounding $12,000 came our way from that experience. The money not only wiped out our debt, but we used their example to encourage our own people to step out into a new season of generosity. And they did. The next month our congregation gave the largest amount in one month up to that point. It matched the amount that New Life had given us! We went from horrible debt to margin in a matter of weeks. Talk about a move of God!
There is no way for the people of New Life to completely understand what they did that morning. They don’t know the 16 people we baptized this year, which wouldn’t have happened without their giving. They don’t see the weight lifted off of our pastor when the finances are in the black, which enabled us to dream a fresh dream for our church. And they certainly can’t imagine the shock we have that exactly one year from the date that we went last year, we will move into our first building. They just believed in us and gave as each one was able. And a miracle happened.
And that is what we each need to learn. Give as you are able and God will do a miracle. Generosity changes lives! Thank you, New Life at Renton! Your money was put to good work and we can’t wait to do the same someday.