First and foremost, we are asking that you pray and seek God’s direction on what God is asking of you. Prepare your heart to hear God and then listen to what God says. Take your next step. Engage in personal reflection with God in this guide. Talk with your spouse, your family, or others about what this commitment will mean for this next exciting season of your life. We are asking that you make a sacrificial commitment to gospel-centered generosity—whatever it is that God leads you to do. Follow God’s leading. Finally, we ask that you prepare to be amazed. We serve an awesome God, who is going to move in huge ways, and already now is moving. We anticipate an unprecedented impact from our collective A New Fire commitments— something only God can do. Please mark your calendar for Commitment Sunday, March 11 and prepare to experience a life-changing worship service that will forever be remembered as a defining moment for our church and our own faith.
We are more focused on helping everyone at First St. Charles see their giving as an integral part of the discipleship process and then accept God’s challenge to take a next step. The bulk of this notebook is focused on helping us dig into some key Biblical principles that guide us in this area as we follow Jesus. This is our first priority—100% participation in the process. Even if someone wrote us a check today for our secondary goal of $3,860,000 we would still do this initiative. Whether we’re just starting in our giving journey or we’re very committed givers, we all have a next step to take and room to grow in this area.
Our current annual giving is approximately $1,180,000 multiplied by two years is $2,360,000. We’re trusting God to grow our resources by a little more than $750,000 per year for a total of $3.86 million.
Be creative as you explore ways you and your family can give toward A New Fire. You might have some stocks, property, or other items of that nature. Or you may have stored resources that God has blessed you with in the past that God just might be calling you to give during this time. Please let us know if you need assistance with facilitating gifts of property or stock, and we would be happy to help you. Jack McCormick, our Office Manager, is able to assist with all such gifts. He can be reached at: email@example.com or 636-947-0066.
A New Fire was crafted specifically with you in mind. A New Fire is a “one fund” generosity initiative. It’s different from a traditional capital campaign where you are called to give an extra gift above and beyond your normal giving, thus creating two steps for people who aren’t yet giving. A New Fire is a call to sacrificial, gospel-centered generosity for absolutely everyone at First St. Charles. If you have never given before, this is your chance to get in the game with a committed sacrifice. We really hope and are praying that you will.
We are asking that everyone make a two-year (24-month) commitment. The fulfillment period for your commitment will begin with Celebration Sunday and our First Big Give on Sunday, April 15 and it will culminate in March of 2020.
A New Fire is about the vision for our church and giving as an expression of our personal discipleship as followers of Jesus. We believe that the local church is one of the most compelling missions toward which to give, and we would really love for you to make First St. Charles your home and join us in A New Fire. If you are ready for it, this is a perfect time for you to put a stake in the ground and make this your church. The first step is simply to let Peter Norton or one of our other pastors know that you are interested in joining us. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 636-947-0066.
A New Fire is about your total, radical, sacriﬁcial generosity to God’s mission at First St. Charles. We believe that God calls us to action in times of hardship just as much as God does in times of abundance, and that looks different for every person. A New Fire is about a heart change—one that is only accomplished by surrendering our lives completely over to God in this area of giving and declaring that we are a people who are unﬁnished. That may mean that you are being challenged to sell things, to pick up odd jobs, or even to trust God in faith by making a commitment that you don’t quite know how to fulﬁll right now but that you believe God will provide for, as you seek for ways to work towards that commitment. We call for 100% of us to be a part of A New Fire so that we can all be supporting, loving, encouraging, and praying for one another through this spiritually stretching season at First St. Charles.
If you are someone currently seeking to make payments to pay off debt right now, we commend you for making progress on that. And you should continue to do so. We would be happy to help you in this journey and/or to recommend a budgeting class that might minister to you. Being in debt does not, however, “excuse” someone from giving. Giving isn’t about what God wants from you; rather, it’s about what God wants for you. It should be our joy and privilege to give at all times. Please visit with Pastor Bart if you need assistance with this or if you would like to speak with a budgeting counselor. We would be honored to help you!
Great question. People take different spiritual steps at different times. Some people begin praying before they begin attending church. Others begin
going to a small group meeting before they begin talking to God in prayer. Giving is another spiritual step, and it comes at different times for different
people. However, just like other spiritual disciplines, giving draws us closer to God. God is calling ALL of us to give.
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
Whether you have taken the spiritual step of baptism or not, we would encourage you to join us in A New Fire. We ﬁrmly believe it will draw you
closer to God and hopefully to a place where you are ready to make the decision to become baptized and to surrender your life to the Lordship of Christ.