Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Freedom for Mission: A Word from The Simpsons

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” (Hebrews 12:1-2).  

Are you ready to run the race?  God calls us to throw off anything hindering us and run with Him the race of life.  When we cross the heavenly finish line, don’t we want to know we gave it our all - all of our faith, love and joy?  And that we spent our resources for His mission on Earth?

When we were asked to help co-chair Freedom for Mission (FFM), we were immediately excited about how God can use this campaign to throw off what hinders (mortgage debt) and show His love for His church and for those served through us.  We are fortunate to be part of a church on mission.  So many members of our church are serving as missionaries or engaged in leadership roles with ministries throughout our community and around the world.   Just imagine how God can bless these and other ministries if we are able to shift resources from repaying mortgage debt to investing more fully into His mission. 
The launch of FFM is also an opportunity to reflect upon God’s past provision for our church and to remind ourselves of His faithfulness.  After years of “wandering in the wilderness” without a permanent home, the congregation authentically partnered with God in 2007 as part of the Upon This Rock (UTR) capital campaign to purchase and remodel the building that is now Church of the Apostles. With a new pastor, a recent church plant, and a much smaller congregation, fundraising consultants said UTR was unlikely to succeed.  Yet this assessment did not leave room for God’s faithful provision and the congregation’s generous, sacrificial giving.  

In the Old Testament, the Israelites built stone memorials in grateful remembrance of God’s help and faithfulness.  On Sunday, the congregation built our own memorial, called an Ebenezer, as a reminder of all that God has provided for Church of the Apostles in the past and of His steadfast love for us as we pursue His mission into the future.  

With a membership that is now double the size it was in 2007, it is exciting to envision how God can use FFM to bless others by freeing our church to dive deeper into mission in our community and around the world.  Over the next four weeks, we pray that each of us will authentically partner with God to throw off what is hindering and - as a church on mission - run the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus. 

---Stephanie and Dana Simpson

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