December 1, 2010 will turn out to be a pretty telling day in the life of UBC, I believe.
Yesterday marked the official start of The Challenge, our initiative to retire our line of credit debt by year end (Lord willing, for good!). This is a whole family problem and solution. I am so excited to consider that in 30 days it is entirely possible that we raise an additional $340,000 to pay off our line of credit and raise the reserves necessary to retire the LOC for good. The LOC is certainly what I would call “bad” debt. It needs to go away. I honestly believe that once we are relieved of that portion of our debt, that everything from that point will feel like we are moving forward and making progress. We must right the ship (financially speaking) to move in the right direction.
This is just a part of what we hope to see happen in the coming months and years. By God’s grace, we will see UBC make the most significant progress in retiring all of her debt in the next 5-7 years. I would even hope the entire building debt of approximately $4.3m is gone in at least 7 years.
Now, if we only rally around the finances, our resolve will wane and the results will be less than God-honoring. I believe God is disciplining us as a body to know what it means to “Treasure Christ above all things.” Treasuring and trusting go hand in hand. To treasure Christ is to trust Him. You cannot say you treasure Christ if you trust in men (Jeremiah 17). So, this entire process will be one of the richest spiritual experiences in the history of UBC, as we seek to treasure Christ together through great sacrifice and service.
With that, the elimination of debt certainly accomplishes an incredible freedom for greater ministry. While we are learning to treasure Christ above all else, we will be learning how God desires us to use our financial resources for His kingdom. We are going to embrace God’s economy that little becomes much when in His hands. This means, if we are learning of Him as we ought to be, that our giving and involvement in missions should increase long before we have the increased funds.
The B People
This brings me to the other significant thing about December 1, 2010 in the life of UBC. Last night we had our adoption service for the B people and shared in a time of covenant with each other to take the gospel to an unreached people in a pretty hard place. It was an incredible moving experience and the unanimity in the body was evident. We reminded each other that the worship of God’s people for His glory drives missions because it’s WHY missions should be done. It should be our aim to bring others the gospel so that their treasure is Christ alone, and that He is exalted in their midst.
Can you see how treasuring brings all this together? The B people could care less about us throwing money their way if there are not people paying a price in their midst. The cost of discipleship is not bound to pocketbooks, rather the Scriptures in our backpacks. We must put feet and knees to mission. As long as we thing giving alone will accomplish the task, we will have missed every disciplined lesson of getting out of debt. By God’s grace, I pray that we treasure Christ together in such a way that not a single person visiting our church in Fayetteville, or meeting our church on foreign soil, will be able to say we treasure anything or anyone more than Jesus.
December 1, 2010 was really a very good day.