Will Mancini and Michael Bird in their book God Dreams talk about Jeff Bezos who founded Amazon.com in 1994, and his commitment to think long-term. That kind of thinking got him to thirty-fifth on the global Fortune 500 list in just 20 years. Each year, he prints his first letter to shareholders at the beginning of the annual report. It's a simple, symbolic act to highlight his value for the long view. The original 1997 letter outlines nine ways Amazon will demonstrate their long-term approach, including the statement: "We will continue to make investment decisions in light of long-term market leadership considerations rather than short-term profitability considerations or short-term Wall Street reactions.''
But long-term thinking is not just effective in the business world; it is the key to the Church’s effectiveness until Christ returns. The big picture of God’s Kingdom, our mission and His purposes must shape our values, in the present as well as our approach to His desired future for us. In fact, these values that guide us and shape us must not be just temporal and momentary values. They have eternal--- long-term effect. That is why what we value, must connect our present to our future. The truth is, these values must form the “core” of who we are for God both as individuals and as His Church.
Tim Irwin said, “The word "core" has become a major idea in the physical development of athletes and others interested in fitness. Core includes all of the muscles of the midsection. The core muscles stabilize the entire body and are prime contributors to strength and coordinated movement. Athletes in just about every sport focus on developing their core muscles because it has proven to make them so much better at whatever sport they play.”
What a fitting illustration of what Core Values do for the Church and the Kingdom of God… spiritually speaking, they stabilize the entire body, the church, and they are prime contributors to its strength and its movement! And because that is so, today I’ll begin my next sermon series entitled, simply enough… Core Values. For the next several weeks I want to identify what our Core Values are as His people and why they are essential in our personal lives and our Church.
World Mission Offering… On Sunday, November 6th, for the first time in over a decade instead of receiving a budget “catch-up” and mission offering, we will only receive a Mission offering. Here’s the deal… on that Sunday I am asking you to pray about giving a special offering above and beyond your regular tithes and building gifts. And on that day, everything we receive over our weekly ministry budget and building needs will go 100% to our Mission commitments, locally, nationally and internationally.
In previous years we’ve given 20% of our catch-up offering to missions and that has amounted to approximately $100,000 per year above our regular gifts to missions. But because we are slightly to the good, Praise the Lord, in our giving thus far this year, (and you must continue that) all we need is a very good regular weeks offering on Nov. 6 and then every one of us gives an additional sacrificial gift to missions. If we all do so, it could result in the largest single day mission offering in our history! Wow, let’s do another great thing for the gospel and the work of God through our mission partnerships all over the world! So start praying now about your special gift above and beyond your tithes and offerings. And remember, God is always trying to take us someplace new! I love being your Pastor!!!!
For God’s Glory Alone,