October 18, 2018
Dear RCC Family and Friends,
This coming Sunday I am calling upon our church family to set aside 3 days to fast and give our attention to seeking the Lord personally and corporately about the future of RCC. We will be also be meeting on Tuesday evening, October 23rd at the church from 7-8pm for one hour of corporate prayer. The goal of this season of fasting and prayer is to seek the Lord for discernment about what He is leading each one of us to do as well as what He is leading us to do as a congregation between now and the end of the year.
The fast will start on Monday morning, Oct. 22 and end on at midnight on Wednesday, Oct. 24th. I am asking each member of RCC to set apart these three days to fast food and/or media in order to give time and attention to prayer. This coming Sunday we will share more information and there will be a time for questions.
At the All Church Prayer meeting on Tuesday we will be praying and giving our attention to discernment from the Lord. This meeting will be an essential part in the process of discernment about the future off RCC. Please make every effort to attend!
On October 4th, Kenton Slabaugh, Arlin Martin, Bob French met to prayerfully the financial and spiritual health of RCC. I arranged this meeting for prayer and so that we could look at some ongoing trends in participation and financial support at RCC. At the meeting Arlin shared that Restoration Cornerstone Church continues to operate at a deficit. In fact, there has been, and continues to be a significant ongoing shortfall between tithes and ministry expenditures every month. This concern was shared at our family meeting this summer (July 1st.) Following the meeting the team felt as though I should share our concerns at the close of the service this past Sunday. The following information includes what I shared on Sunday for those of you who missed it as well as some specific information that I was unable to share.
All members and regular attenders at RCC are encouraged to read the following carefully. Please feel free to email me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transparency is needed in order to function as a healthy church family. It is important that very specific information and goals be shared at this time so that everyone be informed and so that we can be in unity as seek the Lord together. I believe that God has a miracle in store for us. I am fully confident that God is using the present situation to bring transformation and blessing. But the situation that we are facing now is difficult. But, God uses difficult situations to shape and transform us as He sees fit. There is one thing I know for sure: things are about to shift and change for us a church family! The God of Moses, Gideon and David is not as interested in our comfort but He is quite interested in revealing His glory and extending His kingdom on the earth! He is able to exchange any insufficiency that we might have for His divine power so that we can overcome in the face of difficulty as we partner with Him.
God is looking for partners who will leave their comfort zone to participate with him. This is where we are! We are in a place where we need the power of God but this power does not come without cost. Dying to self is necessary. Paul prays: “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil 3:10-11) Resurrection power is preceded by dying to self. I am fully confident that God will provide for everything that He is calling us to do. We must however recognize that we are in a time of testing and in order to turn it a “test” into a “testimony” we must overcome by walking in humility and obedience to what He is leading us to do! Prepare your hearts to hear from God as you read on. Here is the situation…
RCC needs $1900.00 per week to meet it’s budgeted expenditures. Since January of 2018 the average tithe from the 20 family groupings has been less than $900 per week. This monthly shortfall means that we are falling behind in meeting our expenses and in our ability to expand the ministry by nearly $4,000.00 per month. As a result we have had to “tighten our belt.” In fact, we have not even been able to cover our basic operating costs for the past 10 months. Because of the continued shortfall we have not been able to launch a youth program or start a children’s outreach ministry (as we had planned.) We also have postponed our plans for conferences etc. In short, we have not been investing in growth because we haven’t had the resources (financial or volunteers) to do so!
We are in a critical situation, to be clear! We will need to receive regular and sustainable tithes and offerings from members of the RCC church family to keep our doors open and meet our budget between now and December 31st. Without and average collection of $1900 per week in tithes and offerings it will be impossible for us to keep the doors open. Without regular tithing from members we will cease to function as we do now. I am speaking clearly because I don’t want anyone to misunderstand the seriousness of our situation. With that in mind I also need to say…
I am not fearful. I am confident that God has been and will continue to use whatever our situation is to bring us into the fullness of plan for us! The only critical thing is that we move forward prayerfully and with discernment so that we walk in partnership and obedience to Jesus. Closing the doors does not mean the end. God may be calling us to exist in a different way. I am unwilling to speculate at this time about what that looks like – except to say that many churches all over the world exist and thrive without buildings and volunteer leadership. In fact, this is exactly how the New Testament church functioned for hundreds of years! I am not making a prediction. I am making room for God to reveal WHATEVER He would have for us in the coming days.
This Sunday we will again give our primary attention to seeking His face in worship and prayer. Our focus on the Word time will be the Battlefield of the Mind. This will be the last week in this series. Starting October 28th we will begin a sermon series on Discipleship: what it means to follow Jesus. Discipleship is not what we have imagined it to be. Discipleship is what God has called us to do. It is the pattern that Jesus used to change the world. What does it mean to “follow Christ?” What does it mean to be a “follower of the Way?” Why did Jesus attract disciples by promising them that they would be “fishers of men?” How am I to disciple others in accordance with the Great Commission? As we move forward as God leads we must continue to seek Him and walk in the fullness of His calling
See you Sunday!
Pastor Jon Quesenberry