If you were around last Sunday you'll have heard me announce that as of Thursday 10th November the Vision Fund Offering total including gifts, gift aid and a small amount in IOUs was an amazing £170,151. Another £2,300 came in the following day, making a total last Sunday of £172,451.
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who gave to what I'm pretty sure is the biggest single gift day offering we've ever had as a church. It's an amazing total, which will enable us to give a huge kick start to creating more space for growth at all three of our sites. Thank you.
Let me for a moment let you into the thought life of a senior pastor when it comes to an offering like this (for those of you who like to think that leaders have no insecurities, and always lead from a place of total security, please just skip the rest of this blog!). One of the secret fears of senior leaders goes something like "are the people who come to the church I lead just coming as consumers who like the 'show' we put on every Sunday, or are they consumed and genuinely committed to where we're going as a community". An appeal for money always feels like a very real test of which side of that line people sit!
The fear therefore when you announce a fresh vision such as this one, and set a goal of raising a large amount to kick start it, is what happens if we only raise a small fraction of the goal - it could well be an indication that the vision is little more than a daydream with little chance of becoming a reality. I'm therefore thrilled that we've raised so much, especially when at this point the vision is quite nebulous in that we're still some way away from having any sort of costings for what redeveloping K2 will actually cost, or which buildings we'd like to make use of in Sandhurst or Windsor.
I'm not sure it's been too different for leaders throughout church history. I'm struck that in the book of Acts there's a man called Joseph, who the apostles rename Barnabas which means "son of encouragement", when he releases some money and entrusts it to the early church leaders (Acts 4:36-37). It was hugely encouraging then and it's hugely encouraging now. Thank you.
We haven't got an updated gift day figure this week as our finance team have been rightly working on the monthly reports for October, but I'm very hopeful that when we do get an updated total it will be over the £200,000 goal we set. If not we'll take up another mini offering to get us past the goal. In the meantime if you wanted to give but for some reason didn't get round to it, or did give but would like to help get us over the line, then it's not too late! You can put your gift in one of the offering envelopes and write "vision fund" on the envelope before giving it in on Sunday, or give online or via our church app.
Thank you again from a very grateful leader.