What if we hit $6 million?
At our Beyond These Walls town hall meeting a few weeks back, there were a variety of questions. But one stands out. One of our sweet, enthusiastic members asked, “What if we hit $6 million? I think we can!”
I remember the chuckles from both members and elders…and pastors, honestly. Well—who’s chuckling now? As we move towards $5.5 million in total pledges—and believe me, we are still counting—suddenly that woman’s faith-filled question doesn’t seem so crazy, does it?
In response, I would say a couple things. First, I hope we do! That will mean that more and more of our remaining Chapel Hill family members added their sacrifice to ours, which will move us that much closer to our number-one goal of 100% participation. (If that describes you, go here to pledge or go here to give to Beyond These Walls! Make sure you select “Beyond These Walls” in the designation field.)
One of the most spectacular things about this experience for me is that we defied the odds in so many ways. We were told that debt-retirement isn’t “sexy” enough. (Apparently not true.) We were told that typically gifts of $750,000 and $500,000 would be required to hit this number. (Apparently not true.) And we were told that initiatives like this don’t produce new givers. (Apparently not true: so far, 43 families and individuals have pledged who never gave anything to Chapel Hill before, something we are told is extremely rare.)
So, I hope we do continue to beat the odds as we march toward 100% participation and a previously inconceivable (except for my friend at Town Hall) $6 million!
Secondly, I would say this: it won’t change a thing… at least not in the near-term. As I said repeatedly, every dime that comes in will go toward debt retirement, and thus will free up hundreds of thousands of dollars every year for ministry. We will pay down our mortgages as quickly as we are able, and we will continually inform you of that process so that we can count down the days to our three mortgage-burnings. If we get more money in, it will allow us to do so more quickly.
And if the day comes that we are debt-free and we still have Beyond These Walls dollars coming in, well, as one of our elders said, “That’s one of those good problems!” Your session will do what they always do; they will prayerfully lead us into a new day when the mortgage is gone and we can give ourselves away as never before.
Anyhow, great question, right? Someone had more faith than her Senior Pastor, and I’m glad for a Sweetheart church that has those kinds of people in it. So—keep pledging, keep giving, and keep praying! Now comes the fun part!
P.S. We are at our annual Evangelical Presbyterian Church family reunion called General Assembly down in Sacramento… 108 degrees on Tuesday! Yowza! My Rachel is joining us for her first G.A., and your pastors and elders are being reminded, once again, that we are not only leading a Sweetheart church… we are in a Sweetheart denomination! See you this weekend.