A couple of weeks ago the Richwoods staff took a look at a couple of parables Jesus shared with religious leaders to help them understand his heart. One of the parables was about a shepherd that had a hundred sheep and lost one; the other was about a woman who had ten coins and lost one. In both cases the individual went on a reckless campaign to find what they had lost.
I don’t know if you’ve thought about it, but Jesus identifies himself as someone who has lost something. We often think of God as having everything he needs and being in full control, yet through these stories claims that he knows what it feels like to lose something – not just a thing, but something precious to him.
In our culture we don’t often give a second thought to replacing things we’ve lost or broken. We suffer from a disposable mindset. There is no room in Jesus’ head or heart for disposable. He is determined to recover what he lost…you, me, and all of creation for that matter, at least that’s what the apostle Paul hints at in Colossians when he claims Jesus is reconciling all things to himself. Nothing, no-one, is too far outside of his notice or grasp.
What’s more, as a follower of Jesus, he expects us to grieve what has been lost and to walk with him as he is recklessly working to reclaim what is his. At Richwoods we are zeroing in on helping people Believe through relationships with people who are unchurched.
As a pastor most of the people I naturally associate with are already churched, yet I don’t receive any special exemptions from God’s expectation to join in his effort to reclaim the lost. So I’ve made an effort to change my natural path of life to put myself in regular contact with people who God is pursuing.
I try to play airsoft once a month with a group of people, the majority of which are definitely not following Jesus even though they drop his name often. I’ve been investing myself in building relationships with them playing airsoft in a form I think Jesus might play it in. It’s not always easy but, because I play differently, in the past two years they have begun to share areas of their life with me where I can insert my relationship with Jesus. They are so receptive and appreciative when I ask them if I can pray with them. My goal is not to force or convince them to accept Jesus, but to want the joy and perspective on life filled with the hope of Jesus that I live out in front of them within the game of airsoft.
I have a short list of players that I pray for on a regular basis, Ryan and Gary for example. I know God is pursuing them and I’m joining him in his effort. I encourage you to spend some time in prayer asking God’s Spirit to bring to mind people in your natural path of life that he is pursuing so you can join him. If your natural path doesn’t bring you into contact with lost people, consider what you can do to change it up – I dare you. 🙂
On average Richwoods needs to receive $39.1K in gifts to meet its 2016 operating expenses, 10% of which goes immediately to Missions and helping people in our community who are experiencing financial troubles.
2016 Cash Balance
As a policy we must have at least 2 weeks of average weekly income in our cash balance at all times, currently that figure is $75K. Combined with the cost of replacing the roof at $140K the total we would need to have in our cash balance by the end of October would be $215K. The cash balance is as of the Friday prior to the date of this posting. Figures in the graph are in thousands ($K).
Our budgets are set on a calendar year, submitted by staff and approved by the Elders of Richwoods. Our ability to meet the needs of the people, provide programs, offer ministry opportunities, and so on, are all contingent on the faithful and generous giving of the people who call Richwoods their church home. As a church we do not take annual pledges to set a budget but we work off of our historical giving and attendance patterns to project a conservative budget.
If you have questions about the information shared in this fyi, you can contact our Executive Pastor, Joel Dryden by email. You can also leave a comment below.