Check out the rest of the series here.--
I work as the Administrator at an amazing church in Kalamazoo. I get a front row seat to the highs and lows of running a church. It’s definitely a rollercoaster: I can say with assurance that I’ve felt the chill of the “click-click-click” as the coaster cranks up to the peak and you are practically petrified wondering if the tracks will hold, as it slowly inches along, terrified the catch will break and you will plummet backwards. And I’ve experienced the exact thrill of that G-force fall and the crazy-is-this-really-happening-fear-and-joy that comes as you race forward down the tracks--all from my office chair at New Day Community Church.
Please note: If you didn’t read my last post on Numbers, please do so; it’s important to me that you know my heart before you read this post.
Take last year for example. We got off to a great start--attendance and finances were up, meaning we were impacting more real people in Kalamazoo with the gospel, and we were able to pour more money into ways to increase that even more.
But then at the end of the spring and early summer, everything changed. Within weeks less people were coming, finances got tight, our Pastor had a serious heart attack, and some other crazy things happened. God kept giving us big goals, promising to provide ways to achieve them. But the numbers just weren’t what we needed to meet our goals and pay the bills, and just like any business, goals go on hold for the bills. So we kept trusting God.
We’d had “bad weeks” before, so we kept inching along, making spending cuts left and right. But the low weeks turned into low months. I’ll be honest: I had gotten myself ready to expect a “you’re going to have to work less hours” talk--but Pastor held fast to God’s promise it would not come to that.
Another factor was that early in the year God had told Pastor to teach on tithing in the fall. And then all summer we are low. ...I don’t know about you, but that always seems like a risky thing to do when offerings are low (...or high, actually; It just seems risky). Will people feel judged? Unloved? Insecure? Angry? However, if there is one thing I’ve learned, you always follow God’s leading, and you definitely don’t let “what people will think” run the show.
It was one of those seasons where you feel every ounce of the weight of gravity as you are trying to inch up the peak of the coaster and reach your goals. Each “click” is excruciating, and as the potential energy builds, you become more and more certain the next click will break and you will plummet backwards.
When you’re in those seasons, all you have left is clinging to the promises of God and standing on the testimony of the Word. If you’re in one of those seasons now; don’t lose hope. Hang in there, because God is faithful.
To Be Continued