Much love and prayers for everyone here in the Sarasota area impacted by Hurricane Ian. And many thanks to those not directly impacted. Your prayers and concerns are felt.
It sounds like most of us lost power. Some of us were displaced by flooding. Over one hundred people lost their lives. It’s a sad and anxious time for many. And yet many of us live with a sense of gratitude for how well we fared.
When God answers some prayers and doesn’t answer others, it causes tension for me. Canned "faith" answers seem insensitive. But faith does speak a thoughtful word that encourages us if we embrace it. Follow the link below for this week’s teaching where I develop the thought further.
Why give to X242?
A week or two before Hurricane Ian, someone asked me what the money given to X242 goes for. She couched it with all sorts of disclaimers that she wasn’t challenging or criticizing anyone. She just didn’t know. And I was thankful that she asked. And especially now, as we make our network available to collect and distribute help.
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 8:20-21, “We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.”
Likewise, our pledge is to keep operating expenses low and live within our means so that we can be generous toward those in need. And we make such financial decisions by elder consensus.
It’s a good question: If we’re doing church without a paid staff or facilities, why collect money at all?
The short answer is, to help people, and to keep X242 running so that we can help people. That includes supporting our meetups, and providing information and guidance to people who want to start or find a microchurch. We also have the potential to help other ministries that do things we can’t. But mostly it goes to “benevolence” which means showing mercy, being kind, doing good, etc. We “love God with all we are, and love our neighbors with all we have.”
Giving an Account Our administrative expenses average just $70 a month. After that’s covered, all other donations are available for direct program expenses such as benevolence, meetups, training, and occasional one-time expenses like equipment.
In the ten months since we opened a bank account we have received $21,942 in donations, and distributed $13,484 as follows:
Program Costs: $10,651
Training & Discipleship $140
Administrative Costs: $2,833
Liability Insurance $252
Corporation Fees $70
Our Mission is Love
We recently helped a family get their one car out of the shop. This week, we’re purchasing winter coats for 75 poor children high up in the Himalayas. And in the weeks to come we will no doubt help people recover from the hurricane, even as a couple of us have already taken food and gas into North Port. This is love, and it’s pure joy to carry other people’s burdens together.
In fact, that’s our mission — not just doing church in a simpler way, but “loving God with all we are, and loving our neighbors with all we have.” My prayer is that in so doing, we are a light in the dark for people who need it. And I’m asking you to agree with me in prayer and generosity toward that end, however God leads you.
If you know anyone who is in need, please let me know by responding to this email, so that we can discern how best to help them.