A couple of weeks ago a version of message was sent out via snail mail with our anonymous giving card included. We wanted to send this updated message digitally in case some of those letters did not make it to your mailbox.
You can CLICK HERE now to make your 2016 anonymous pledge online. CLICK HERE to give online now by credit/debit card or with your checking account. Or you may send a message to (770) 691-0691 to immediately text any amount between $10 and $2000 using a credit or debit card.
Dear Members, Friends & Supporters of Eastside Church,
If you have been in worship throughout the past month, or have been following the messages online, then you know we have been in a teaching series we have titled “Planning for Today // Dreaming for the Future” (CLICK HERE TO LISTEN/WATCH). Every October our lay, clergy and staff leadership come together to create a budget for the coming calendar year. In doing this we go through a process designed by our Finance Team called “Needs // Wants // Dreams”.
“Needs” are those expenses that we must meet in order to simply continue the ministry we are currently doing. If we build a budget based on needs, it assumes and plans for no growth in the coming year. Think austerity.
“Wants” are tangible next steps. If we want to take our ministry and thus our church to the next level in the new year, what are tangible, reasonable budget increases? Does Brent want new technical equipment in the sanctuary to make our worship experience better? Do the trustees want to fix the other bathroom in the sanctuary giving visitors a better experience? Does Stephanie want to invest in a better Sunday School curriculum? Does Dave want to improve the Sunday Meal Ministry? Do we want to hire a youth pastor and start a youth ministry?
“Needs” keep things static, “Wants” take things to the next level.
“Dreams” are the big ideas. No surprise, as lead pastor many of my dreams are related to staffing. I would love to have the resources to hire a full-time Justice and Missions pastor whose entire role is to organize and mobilize Eastsiders to reach out in loving service to the marginalized in our community and across our world. I have dreams to see our historic facilities renovated from the inside-out fixing our issues surrounding restrooms, flow, aesthetics, and so much more. I have dreams of transforming the top floors of buildings two and three into mixed use space that we could affordably rent to artists, galleries, studios, music teachers, non-profits, do-good startup companies and the like. I have dreams to start ventures such as after school tutoring in tandem with affordable children’s art, music and dance classes.
There is no shortage of vision and big dreams at Eastside. We want to change the world. We want to have a real, lasting and transformative impact on East Atlanta. We want to become a church who is so invested in its community that regardless of what people think about God, they know we are really good news to the east side.
But it all takes money. Doing good and changing the world comes at cost – it requires resources. And at Eastside, those resources come from the collective ‘us’. Our church is a collective of individuals who come together to do the extraordinary work of God’s Kingdom – and a part of that work is a call to obediently and generously give a portion of our hard earned money back to God. As Christians we see this as an act of love, trust and worship. In fact, Christians don’t really give to the Church. What we are actually doing is giving to God. The fortunate byproduct of these gifts is that they, in turn, empower the Church to change the world. The Christian understanding is that your gifts are an investment in your relationship with God. And the more you give, the more that relationship of trust in God grows.
So at Eastside we are starting a new tradition – anonymous pledge season. Starting this year, each fall we will ask that you to create a personal budget for the next year. And as a part of that budgeting process we ask that you prayerfully decide how much you feel God is calling you to give in 2016. The numeric goal of Christian giving has historically been 10% of one’s take-home pay. We understand that if you are new or returning to the church that number may seem daunting or even impossible. If this is your situation, instead of opting out entirely, commit to incremental giving. Start this year at 4% or 6% with a goal to increase by a percentage point each year.
After you have decided what you will give, please write the number down on the card (available in the backs of the pews at church), tear off the smaller, perforated section, and keep the other for your records. After you have done this, place the smaller card in the offering baskets during worship or in the Dropboxes located next to the exits.
If you are traveling or won’t be present with us in Sunday worship between now and the end of the year, we have created an anonymous online pledge form that you can use by CLICKING HERE .
People of Eastside, your pledges will serve to empower our leadership in a tremendous way as we seek to create a wise and visionary 2016 church budget. Please make this a priority because it really is very important.
As I say at the end of worship most Sundays, it truly is a privilege to be in ministry with you. Y’all are remarkable people, and it is my hope that you will join me in giving to the work of God’s Kingdom through Eastside. Please pray for God’s mighty blessing to be made manifest in and through our congregation in 2016. Good things are happening today. Together, with the help of God and one another, lets make sure amazing things are happening in our collective future.
With Hope & Grace,