Winter 2010 Rapport: Development Outlook
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One pastor’s story of faith, obedience and blessing
Max Yeary pastors Christian Life Center, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the first participant in the Communities of the Faith initiative, which honors churches who want to ensure that the legacy of Pentecostal faith is trans-ferred to subsequent genera-tions of ministers.
In 1999, as we were looking for funds to put the finishing touches on a new, 2,500-seat worship center, God challenged me to give the first offering taken in the new building to another ministry.
I knew it was God, and we accepted the challenge. As I took the tithes and offerings during the first service in the new building, Thanksgiving 1999, I explained to the congregation that the entire offering would be given away to another ministry. A representative from that ministry spoke, and we took another offering.
A total of $100,000 was given that Sunday. Even though we were struggling, we never missed that offering. In fact, our overall income began to increase.
Each Thanksgiving since, we have given away the Sunday offerings to another ministry. The amounts have ranged from $65,000 to $100,000.
In June 2006 I spoke with Dr. George Wood, general superintendent of the AG, about my passion to train Pentecostal ministers. In fact, Christian Life Center gives $100,000 a year, in addition to the anniversary offering, to educate Pentecostal leaders. Dr. Wood suggested that we consider giving our 2006 anniversary offering to AGTS. We were immediately excited about the opportunity to invest in future leaders. Dr. Wood agreed to speak at the November anniversary service. Again the congregation gave away offerings totaling $100,000 to AGTS.
Christian Life Center is not a wealthy church. In fact, just the opposite is true. But its members are a people of faith. No large individual donations are given in these anniversary offerings. However, after one anniversary offering, an unknown individual placed a check for $50,000 in the regular offering the very next Sunday—a first for us.
If you pastor a church or own a business, I challenge you to give away one Sunday’s offering or one week’s profits to AGTS. You will never miss it, but you will be reminded of it when you see the financial blessings come to your church, ministry, home or business. As Communities of the Faith invest in AGTS, we will be assured of spirit-filled leadership and a Pentecostal legacy in future generations.
Communities of the Faith churches have established an endowed fund at AGTS in the amount of $25,000 or more to provide scholarships for seminary students. For more information about the Communities of the Faith initiative, call the AGTS Development Office (417-268-1012).
Thursday, March 11, 2010 2:49 PM