This month’s elders meeting began with our much-anticipated bi-annual pastor-elder dinner. It is a wonderful opportunity to gather and break bread with our pastors outside the hustle and bustle of ministry. We got to catch up on life and ministry, enjoy great food together, and we ended the meal in a time of prayer, taking time to pray for each individual pastor both personally and for their ministry. What a privilege it is to stand alongside such faithful and genuine men and women of God. We as elders feel truly blessed to have the pastoral team that we do here at Central! Please continue to encourage our pastors and lift them and their families up in prayer as they continue to do the work that God has called them to.
With November half over already, we look forward to the Advent season just a couple weeks away. Pastor Matt updated the Elders on the plan for our Advent sermon series, and I must say I am intrigued. The title of the series is ‘Cosmic Christmas’ and will be based on the classic Christmas story found in Revelation 12… yes you heard that right, a Christmas series out of the book of Revelation! Probably not the first place most of us would look, but we are excited to see what God’s word has in store for us as we anticipate celebrating the incarnation of our Lord.
We are pleased to announce that Central will be putting on a Marriage Retreat this winter! The retreat will be in Harrison Hot Springs on January 26-27, and feature guest speaker Josh Butler. We believe that Christian marriage is meant to be a reflection of Christ and his church (Ephesians 5), thus we want to build up the marriages in our church to bear that image well. Please join us for a time of refreshment, learning, and getting away from the kids for a night! Registration opens soon.
Elder’s meetings inevitably have a portion dedicated to the finances of the church. This prompts discussion about how to communicate well the joy of giving without sounding like we’re begging for money. We believe that giving sacrificially of our finances is a form of worship, and a way of acknowledging that everything we have belongs to God. Our motivation to give should not come from a place of guilt or sense of duty to keep the lights on, rather from a heart posture of humbly submitting the financial sphere of our lives to God. I know I am probably preaching to the choir with those who are reading this, so please don’t hear this as a call for more money; I am simply giving a summary of our conversation. The Lord has provided for us year after year, and we are humbled and grateful for his faithfulness. Please join us in thanking God for his provision and praying that he would continue the work he has started in us.
- On behalf of the Elders at Central Community
The Elders received the year-to-date financial update noting that giving in October was stronger than anticipated. They were encouraged to hear that faithfulness in giving continues to be strong, reflecting the heart of the congregation to honour Jesus and the mission he has for us. A robust discussion was had after looking at the historical financial data, principles and practices for crafting the budget, and giving statistics. It was noted that creating a budget is more about putting feet to our faith, and resourcing our mission to reach the Eastern Fraser Valley with the Gospel, than it is about numbers. The topics of faith and stewardship and the tension both bring to the equation allowed the elders to share perspectives and agree that being faithful to the resources God provides, and embracing the opportunities he has placed before us, is of paramount importance. It was noted that while our budget is unified and presented as a whole, it actually reflects the budget for five churches. Having received recommendations from the Stewardship Team, a group of individuals from the congregation with financial acumen who evaluate the budget and financial practices, the elders determined to revisit the budget at their December meeting.
To the end of October, Central was blessed to experience a 13% increase in donations over the previous year (this does not include the Above and Beyond campaign that was held in 2022). As is true across the board, costs associate with operations, especially as related to our mortgage, continue to leave us in a deficit situation. Ministry expenses are well below budgeted allowances, with a commitment to staff our five campuses for ministry effectiveness being one of our largest expense categories. It was noted that giving is strong across the campuses and as expected our new campus and work in Lake Errock have a significant impact on the budget as a whole. That said, ministry fruit in both locations evidences the work of the Holy Spirit and we are grateful to the Lord for the opportunity to invest in these newer ventures.
As we come to the end of the calendar and fiscal year, the elders noted that a year to date giving statement will be sent via email to all regular donors so they can be informed of their donation status. The elders encourage you to be faithful to Jesus in all aspects of your life. Giving to the mission and ministry of the church reflects one aspect of a heart of gratitude for the saving work of Jesus. Please consider your part as we strive to finish the year well. Join us in thanking God for the fruit we have experienced this year and pray for the opportunities that he has in store for us going forward.
We believe in the power of prayer. We value prayer. And we believe that God answers prayer and uses it as a means of achieving His purposes in the church and world.
Central's Elders invite you to come and receive prayer in the Chilliwack Campus Sanctuary.
Tuesday, December 19 | 6.30PM - 7.00PM
Chilliwack Campus | 46100 Chilliwack Central Road
You can also submit prayer requests using the link below.
Got questions or words of encouragement? We'd love to hear from you!
Please contact The Elders - email@example.com