Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
I write to the Fellowship today with a purpose that makes my heart ache because I should not have to say these things to the ekklÃ©sia of Christ to which we all claim membership, coverage, and unity. I have prayed over this for a very long time for the words to speak, ears to hear, and hearts to respond.
As Prelate here, I have a responsibility to God, to you, and to this church and organization that sometimes goes beyond the difficult. But may I remind you Brothers and Sisters, that you are not without responsibility.
â€œGive, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.â€ Luke 6:38 (NKJV)
Let me share with all of you an excerpt from the â€œEnd of year 2017 Report on Benevolenceâ€ that was made from my office to the Board of Directors:
…Please accept this report as a â€œfinal lookâ€ at 2017 in order to understand where we are now onlyÂ so that we may focus better on how we can direct the ministry into this next year and beyond asÂ God gives us vision and discernment.
1. The average membership total for 2017 340 Members
2. The average monthly Benevolence total $1,081.14
3. The average monthly expense total $1,087.21
4. The average monthly Benevolence per member $3.14
5. The average number of monthly giving members 8 or 2.4%
6. The average number of one time gift giving members 8 or 2.3%
7. The average number of benevolent members per month 16 or 4.7%
I ask you my dear Fellows, “How do we direct this ministry into this next year with only 16 of the 340 members contributing to our daily responsibilities to the ministry, our monthly obligations to our missions, and our future that God is calling us to?”
You have joined this Fellowship in order to receive something for the purpose of serving God. You are relying on this fellowship to cover you, provide for your Spiritual, Corporate, Administrative, and Academic needs as well as be here for your â€œemergencyâ€ requests for assistance; aren’t you?
Several years ago we removed the â€œfee schedulesâ€ for â€œdoing businessâ€ that you reportedly found so â€œtroublesomeâ€ and offensive to â€œreal ministryâ€ with a promise that if we charged nothing for the routine needs of your ministries you would cover these costs and do more for the ministry through offerings, not less. We even created an easy to find portal that makes giving easy, fast, convenient, secure, and open to everyone including nonmembers who just want to give a gift for a good reason, complete with a URL that’s easy to remember and share (www.untci.org/giving-center/). Even if you want to help your ministry (and meet your obligation) by writing a check and sending it USPS we have up-to-date information all in the same place on how to write it and where to send it. Everything you need can be found at www.untci.org/giving-center/
So, if there are no more “barriers” to your giving Brothers and Sisters; what then could it be? Because we know our obligation, not just as Christian, but as Ministers, and Members.
I say all of that in order to give you this;
We can’t bless, unless first we are blessed. The church moves forward in the world only by receiving first from those within, then raising that which is given to God for His blessing and measure, and then the distribution for the purposes that it was raised can occur. Only then, will we collect up more and much more. ( I refer you now to the loafs and fishes)
It must start with us to come back to us. It must start with you…
Make this year, the year in which your obligation to this ministry is not just met, but exceeded. That this, your ministry might do great and glorious things more abundantly to His Glory and that you might be better served and blessed as well.
Think about it…
How far could this ministry go, how many more could we bless, with just $10.00 a month from you and every Fellow of UNTCI.
By His Grace Alone,
Rev. Dr. C. Joseph Fifer, Prelate