Reflections on The Challenge
By guest blogger, Larry McCredy
As the month of December draws to a close, I have had the opportunity to reflect on The Challenge and how it has impacted me. Like all UBC members, I was very excited that we were finally going to make a concerted effort to deal with our debt, particularly our short-term debt. The line of credit had become more than just another item in our budget. Our dependence on it had become something bigger, a constant reminder that we were not being the type of stewards that we should when it came to our resources. This could be felt in our church conferences and other meetings where budgetary matters were discussed. I wanted to do something, and The Challenge was addressing it head on. I was ready.
Then I saw the numbers. UBC needed to receive $590,000 in the month of December to rid itself of the line of credit for good: $280,000 to balance the 2010 budget, $180,000 to retire the line of credit, and another $130,000 to build our operating fund. Wow! I knew that others felt like I did about the line of credit and were ready to begin paying it down, but that was a lot of money. Deep down, I wondered whether these goals could realistically be met, and I’m not sure I really believed that they could.
Unfortunately, this is a cycle that I repeated internally each week throughout December. I was completely blown away by the giving following the first Sunday in December. Then I tried to prepare myself for a let down on the second Sunday. When that didn’t come, I braced myself for disappointment on the third Sunday and then the fourth. But the disappointment never came. Week after week, I was amazed at the response of the UBC family to what God was doing within our body. And here we stand, over $555,000 given to zero debt and multiply ministry, with more being given in these final days. What an amazing testament to what God can do!
And that is really the lesson that has become so clear to me throughout The Challenge. God can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants. In Matthew 17:20, Jesus told the disciples, “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” I had previously read that verse, and others like it, but I am not sure I really trusted that to be true. After this month, though, I have seen this clearly put on display. Nothing is impossible with God!
So as we move forward, my prayer is that we put this principle into practice. And not just with the next phase of The Challenge at UBC, but in all things. Seek God’s will through prayer; trust in Him; and obey Him in all things, wherever he leads.