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GIVING OURSELVES AWAY FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS – St Mary's Church, Reigate

GIVING OURSELVES AWAY FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS

GIVING OURSELVES AWAY FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS

GIVING OURSELVES AWAY

As a church, we long to see God changing lives, families, and churches, again and again. This is our vision

We exist is to make disciples and to be a growing community of people who worship God with our whole lives. This is our mission

Our desire is that hundreds of people, of all ages, hear and respond to the good news of Jesus and his kingdom, receive his welcome and forgiveness, and participate in God’s transforming life here in Reigate and beyond. This is our passion

To see this happen we are committed to reaching out to a world in need, drawing people into a new identity in Christ, developing a culture of discipleship, loving one another as family, and giving ourselves away for the sake of others. This is our strategy

We are not here for ourselves. We exist for others. Other people. Other families. Other churches. This is our calling

WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING RIGHT NOW?

TAKING THE NEXT STEPS INTO OUR CALLING

After the year-and-half we have all had, our priority for the moment is to reconnect as family, through worship, strengthening community, and enjoying life together. But as we move forward together through Christmas into the New Year of 2022, we want to step into our calling as a church for others – a resourcing church.

Our first steps will be to better embed our discipleship pathway, grow leaders, and to see a more passionate missional mindset develop across the whole church.

Operationally, we need our new administration team to become fully established, and we need to improve our communication both amongst ourselves and with others.

Supporting discipleship in families, we need to continue to develop our children’s and youth work, help strengthen marriages and family relationships, and encourage parenting for faith.

Looking outwards we will need to develop our global and local partnerships and networks, as we seek to make a difference in the world God loves so much.

Underpinning all this will require an increasing dependence on the Spirit strengthened through revitalised lives of prayer and worship, all guided by the word of God.

GIVING OURSELVES TO OUR SPECIFIC CALLING

It is remarkable how God has blessed the life of the church here over many years. Our current mission and ministry is founded on the work and prayers of others. God has always been faithful to his promises and committed to his purposes for us.

We are also so mindful of the generosity of all those who have given and those who are currently giving towards the mission and ministry of the church year in, year out. Over 85% of the income of the church each year comes from individuals and couples giving to the church out of their income, their pensions, or their savings.

Over the pandemic we can be very grateful that while gently declining, our regular giving has remained steady. At the same time, we have reduced our outgoings, making savings on salaries, capital costs, and expenditure. This has helped protect us financially, enabling us to be generous to others and be ready for an increase in activity and expenditure in the coming years.

As we continue to step into our calling as a resource church, giving ourselves way for the sake of others, then we expect to see our expenditure grow in 2022 and then again in future years. This can only be realised, however, if our income rises to meet this growth.

However, given our existing commitments for 2022, if our giving income remains at the current level, we are expecting a deficit of £68,000 at the end of next year.

EMBRACING THE CHALLENGE

The reality is that unless we are able to increase our giving income to the church, we will end 2022 with a significant deficit. However, as a leadership, we don’t believe that God is calling us to stand still or plateau, but to stretch further and to imagine for more.

To believe we have a calling to be a resource church is no small thing. It means that we don’t simply see ourselves paying our way, but investing in, and partnering with others – other churches, other agencies, other charities, other individuals – so that God’s kingdom multiplies and grows.

All of our current mission and ministry needs financing, but we don’t want to stand still. We don’t simply want to pay our way, or make ends meet. We don’t even simply want to grow. We believe that God wants our church to reproduce, to multiply, to propagate.

For this to really take off, we need to see a shift in our giving mindset. At the moment we perhaps have a ‘what’s needed’ approach. To fulfil our calling to be a resource church, we need to embrace a ‘what’s possible’ approach – not simply asking what’s needed to balance the spreadsheet, but what’s possible if we all pulled together.

Our ministry currently relies heavily on a relatively small number of donors who provide a high proportion of our income. Last year, 21 out of 281 donors contributed over a third of our giving. Approximately 65% of our income comes from about 20% of regular givers. If we are to become a resource church, in 2022 many more of us will need to be more involved.

This post is an invitation to us all to prayerfully review our monthly giving to the church and to update, or set up, our standing order / direct debit. We don’t want to just meet our needs, we want to give ourselves away for the sake of others.

To help our budgeting, and to help you firm up your own commitments, please fill in a pledge form, either using the hard copies given out at Church, or use the online pledge form on our giving page before Sunday 12th December.