For my final budget letter to you, I tell a story from the past to (hopefully) propel a confident faith in expanding the vision and mission of Trinity.
Come with me to the last month of the last century. We circle-up with our elders and deacons in the newly opened Family Room of what we call “The 1999 Building Addition” at 310 Albany Ave NE. This rookie Senior Pastor closes out his first year a bit bruised and confused about the vision the leadership shared at the beginning of that same year.
Treasurer Bill De Boom, ever the visionary realist (think of a hopeful version of Eeyore the donkey), painted the financial forecast leading into the first year of the new millennium: at current giving trends our balance will shrink to $22,000 by year end and be exhausted by June. Newly-hired staff may need to be laid off, and our ability to make the $11,000 quarterly debt payment could be in jeopardy.
His words fell like an anvil on the otherwise buoyant group. After all, new people kept coming to church, the anticipated exodus never came, and joy seemed to rise. This green pastor asked Bill if he thought we should dial back the vision. “Oh, no. Let’s keep going. Let’s trust God. We believe He gave the plan.”
That group of leaders never looked back. By year’s end, the balance rose to $77,000, the ’99 addition was paid off four years early. A new generation of leaders learned to trust beyond their own means. And 17 years later, their seed of trust bears much fruit as Trinity nears the end of its first century of ministry.
This story proved to be a defining moment in my journey and the journey of Trinity. I’ve brought it out on a number of occasions. I leave it with you as a “standing stone” to remind you of God’s past faithfulness through courageous leaders and a sign-post for continued trust in a grander vision.
Courageous leadership never ceases to dream God-sized dreams, never settles for the plateau, never grows content with where things are, never gets phased with momentary setbacks of offering troughs. This side of heaven, of Christ’s coming again, there will always be another hill to climb, another soul to reach, another injustice to right, another hungry child to feed. Trinity stands poised and ready to be salt and light to a larger region in Northwest Iowa. How might the fabric of our communities look different as we bring the hope of Jesus to this region?
I do not know who God will call to lead Trinity, but I am confident and prayerful that God will continue to raise up faithful and courageous leaders who pray, listening for God’s voice, and lead with holy boldness.
You can click this link to see how our deacons are making plans to be stewards of over $1 million in our combined gifts. Thanks be to God!
For the glory of the King!