As much as we like to think of West as an amazing “church,” it is also a business. We manage supply/demand, risk-benefit ratio, cash flow, etc.
We have trends just as any regular business does. Typically we do a decent job managing the business arm of the church. This Fall, however, was a bit of a challenge. First, reopening and rebranding after 18 months apart was significant. Then, the historically low “cash flow” months hit right when we needed to spend money on things that would enable us to manage two different worshiping opportunities in-person and online. So . . . one day, some difficult conversations had to be had around bank balance.
Those are the conversations that keep me up at night. As we have in years past, we engaged in a ton of prayer and some pretty prudent and quick financial decisions. Within a week, the balance was back in “the safe zone.” But . . . we indeed weren’t out of the woods. December is a big month regarding church work . . . Ding Dong Ditch, missional partners requesting help, homeless families in significant need.
How could we be going into one of our biggest missional months worrying about cash flow?
Sunday afternoon, I received a request for a phone call.
As we began our conversation, their words were, “This is a good phone call, don’t worry!”
Then they shared with me their desire to help out financially with Ding Dong Ditch. “Just tell me what you need, I’ll write a check.”
When folks say that, they have NO IDEA what that amount could be. I gave an amount, and then they pushed back . . .
“I’m happy to write a check for that amount. But I want it to be what you NEED for this mission to happen in totality. My daughter called me a few days ago and had just received a care package from the church. It meant a lot to her, and I want to show love by doing this. I can’t shop, etc., but I can help financially. So tell me what you need.”
I’m sure I stumbled over my words the rest of the call because I was struck with such gratitude.
Love gives itself away again and again and again.
The people who run the college student ministry give love every time they send those packages out. They will never know the impact those packages have, but clearly, they do. God uses them in ways we don’t know or understand.
When we are a people of love, we never refuse to meet people where they are. We are always willing to see things from their perspective, and we never shy away from trying to help someone else out with their needs.
We are always seeking to be more prudent with our business management practices. But at the same time, we always are willing to do whatever it takes to follow God boldly. To be God with some skin on and use love to supply others’ needs. Thank YOU for being that love this Christmas!