Our vision for Arapahoe Road Baptist Church is for all of Denver and the nations to believe Jesus is enough. That’s our future dream. For our friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbors—everyone to see the sufficiency of Christ. Only through Christ may we have forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Through Christ is the treasure of all wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3). He is the focus and the point of all Scripture and all that God has revealed. What you do with Christ in this life counts forever.
Everything that we do must move us toward becoming hopeful, joyful disciples of Jesus. If we do not see that Christ is enough, then the world around us will not be compelled to see Him as enough either. Our strategy, our teams, all of our plans must answer the big ‘why’ and the big ‘how.’
- Why do we do what we’re doing?
- How does what we’re doing produce hopeful, disciples?
In your hands, you are holding the ARBC Financial Plan, which we also call a Church Budget. This budget should and must reflect those two questions: why are we doing what we’re doing? How does what we’re doing produce hopeful, joyful disciples of Jesus?
In this passage in Acts, we see a number of things, but allow me to mention two:
First, we are called to be witnesses from our hometown to every town.
Secondly, we must remember that we are witnesses, but witnesses to what?
You see, we’re all witnesses to whatever worldview we hold. Our words give indication to it to a degree, but our words, thoughts, and actions all come together to bring clarity to our worldview.
When Jesus told them that they would be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth, he meant it as a concentric circle that starts in our hometown with our friends, family, and neighbors, spreads to the region (Judea), to other races and demographics (Samaria) and to the ends of the earth (self-explanatory). Our vision statement seeks to restate that: “Where all of Denver (Jerusalem) and the nations believe Jesus is enough.”
Your church’s budget, this financial plan, is a covenant. The first Sunday in November, our church spends time discussing our financial plan/budget. We have that during our family conference (a.k.a. business meeting). We bring this out in the open for discussion because we believe that our budget is not simply a financial plan, but a covenant that we as a church body make with God and with each other. As God leads us to help all in Denver and the nations believe Jesus is enough, we covenant to approve the budget and sacrificially help.
When it comes to stewardship, it’s not about spending less money, it’s about spending God’s money rightly–that’s stewardship. When the majority of studies conclude that the average church member gives between 1.5 and 2.5% of their income, we have to ask ourselves if we really believe we are stewards of God’s money or earners of our money.
- When you give, remember all that Christ has given to you. As the Corinthians did, so we must give in remembering the grace that God has bestowed on us. If we struggle to give to the Lord’s work, primarily through the church through which you’ve made this covenant, then what is going on in our heart? Do we believe we’ve earned his grace just like we’ve earned our money? His grace is a gift. The resources you have is a gift. So give as He has given to you!
- Remember that every penny you give goes to help others know about Jesus, grow in Jesus, and go for Jesus. Do you long to be a part of something significant, something great, something eternal? What is greater than telling all that Jesus is enough?
But missions in our Jerusalem is not something we can farm out to the professionals. Our budget in-house is our financial plan that allocates resources that you contribute to help make our vision of Jesus being enough for Denver and the nations to become a reality. Our mission field is just as crucial as everywhere else because that’s where we live. We are truthbearers who are here. Let’s be all here.