I am excited to announce that the membership has approved moving forward with a fundraising campaign for the sanctuary. New Hope’s leadership is unanimously united in this, and we have already received close to $23,000 before we have even begun asking for funds.
For over seventeen years we have done our very best to care for the sanctuary and be good stewards of the house of worship the Lord has given us. As with any public building, years of wear and tear can take its toll, which leads to a necessary time of refreshing and updating. Since this has been on my radar for over a year, I have been working diligently with contractors, carpenters, and multi-media technicians to ensure that we do everything in the most cost effective way.
Once completed, you will notice four specific areas that have been refreshed and updated. 1) New flooring will be installed. 2) The existing pews will be stripped, given a new stain color, and reupholstered. 3) Designated areas of the sanctuary will be given fresh paint, which will tie in to the color scheme of the gallery. 4) The entire stage will have an updated look, complete with a new projection system for graphics, text, and video use in the worship service.
I have been in prayer for this project from the very beginning, and I believe that God has given us the go ahead to begin raising funds. I also believe God is calling us to rely on faith to raise these funds in a new way.
A few months ago I was reading 2 Kings 12. The NIV version refers to this chapter as Joash Repairs the Temple. When Joash became king, the Bible says he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. Jehoiada was the high priest at the time, and worked hard to guide Joash in God’s Kingdom work, not just man’s kingdom work. Joash immediately noticed that the temple was in need of repair, but there wasn’t enough money being collected for it to happen.
So Joash sent the priests into the neighborhoods to collect money. There were three forms of money due to them: 1) Tax money. 2) Money that had been volunteered or pledged. 3) Money that someone would voluntarily give. But when the priests returned with the money they had collected, they still didn’t have near enough to repair the temple. In fact, after 23 years of Joash being king, they still hadn’t raised enough money. This led to Joash calling all the priests in and saying, “That’s it. We need to get this done!” Look at what happens next…
2 Kings 12:9-12 (NIV)
9 Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in its lid. He placed it beside the altar, on the right side as one enters the temple of the Lord. The priests who guarded the entrance put into the chest all the money that was brought to the temple of the Lord. 10 Whenever they saw that there was a large amount of money in the chest, the royal secretary and the high priest came, counted the money that had been brought into the temple of the Lord and put it into bags.11 When the amount had been determined, they gave the money to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. With it they paid those who worked on the temple of the Lord—the carpenters and builders, 12 the masons and stonecutters. They purchased timber and blocks of dressed stone for the repair of the temple of the Lord, and met all the other expenses of restoring the temple.
I realize the context of this Scripture was for Joash, the priests, and the people of that time, but there is a valuable faith lesson that each of us can learn today. The Lord has given New Hope a vision for the future, and when God gives a vision, He invites us to join Him in it. When God gives a vision, He will also provide for it.
In light of that, we are not going to ask the congregation of New Hope to pledge money. We are simply asking that you would give out of the abundance of what you have.
In following the example of Joash, we are going to place a chest at the doors of the sanctuary. Our Children’s ministry and Student Ministry will join in this as well. We will take up our normal tithe each Sunday, but the Joash Chest will serve as the Above and Beyond offering for the repair of the temple.
Yes, my prayer for the coming months is that God would pour out a blessing on your family that causes an overflow in your finances. My prayer is that those with children would use this as a teaching opportunity to show the importance of giving to the Lord’s work.
Again, I want to emphasize the Joash Chest as an Above and Beyond offering. It should not be confused with your tithe. The money for the Joash Chest will come from your abundance and blessing that God gives because you tithe. Malachi 3:10 says…
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
You see, since you won’t have room enough to store it, New Hope will provide a chest for you to place it in. I know that money can be a hot button issue for some, but my hope is that no one would give out of guilt. I pray that everyone who puts money into the Joash Chest will do it with a cheerful heart, knowing that they are joining God in the Above and Beyond work that He is about to do through this church. Would you please be in prayer with me on this as we begin this step of faith?
Beginning this Sunday, the Joash Chest will be available to receive your Above and Beyond offering.
May God Throw Open the Floodgates of Blessing on You,
Pastor Josh Huisman