Sunday, May 1, 2011

Worship More Than Singing

Upon returning to my regularly scheduled duties at PCC, I was met with some conversation and some important decisions to make.

This is an area that, frankly, I hate. It's not easy. It's not something that I seem to be getting better at. I dread it. It's the least favorite part of my job.

It's about money.

We've got some challenges ahead of us in the Worship Arts area. Worrying over it drives me crazy, and the meetings and discussions we have to have can be fraught with tension and challenges. We have to prioritize, and putting some things above others means that we aren't able to do all that we feel God's called us to do in certain areas.

It makes me anxious. It makes me nervous. It wakes me up in the middle of the night.

Don't get me wrong - it's not that I don't trust God - I do. Personally, I have no issues with believing and acting as if God owns it all. He does. Every bit of my personal finances that I release allows me more freedom in the reality of my life. Believe it or not, it really works that way. And I do believe that God will provide everything we need at PCC, as He does in my personal life.

I believe it. I want you to believe it and have an opportunity to be a part of it.

So here's what you need to know:
  • Because we are reaching people each week through our online campus (yay!) we are now paying a licensing fee to make sure that our services are compliant with copyright law. We want to honor the law and be good stewards of the creative content of our services. That license cost $1000. Other licensing fees that we pay cost upwards of $1500 per year.
  • If you attended the Powhatan campus recently, you might notice that the right screen in the room looks slightly different than the left. At 15 months in, one of our projector bulbs (guaranteed for 12 months, expected to last a good bit longer) burnt out. That's a $600 replacement part. Ow.
  • In order to finalize some DVD footage (particularly of some recent memorial services and other special occasions), we need to purchase two pieces of equipment. The cost for both adds up to around $1000.
  • The computer we use for projecting lyrics and images on the screen has a few issues, as does the software we are using. As we contemplate a planned expenditure for upgrades of hardware and software, we are trying to evaluate where, exactly, our limited funds need to be applied at this point. What matters most? The projector bulb? The licenses? The new equipment?

We are working feverishly to recondition and re-purpose older equipment. We do everything we can to work with what we've got. We are blessed with volunteers who invest thousands of hours into making weekend services at the Powhatan and Westchester campuses effective. But the bottom line is this: Other than the exceptional talent and skill offered by those who serve, everything costs money. From the cages from the Wild Goose Chase series to the recent rocks formed into a cross, to the short films used in service to the drum heads recently purchased for the (donated) drum kit that we keep at the Powhatan campus - it costs money.

I believe giving financially to support the work of the local church is an act of obedience. I do it because I believe God calls us to do so. I do it because the impact of the church on my family. I do it to pay the salary of the leaders of children and student ministry at PCC. I do it because I believe in what my church is doing to make a difference in the community.

If you give, thanks. You're making a difference. If you're giving all that God's called you to give, awesome. If not, know that adding a bit more will make a huge difference in what happens in our weekend services.

I was thinking about the online service, for example. At this point, we usually have an audience of 40-50 people online. If those 50 people each gave $10, we'd cover half of the license we purchased to make that service happen. If those 50 folks gave $20, we'd be covered completely.

There is POWER in community. Many hands make light work. We can make this happen!

If you're not giving, but you appreciate and value what the local church does in your community, consider this: part of our spiritual formation includes trusting God for everything. If you think you can't live without 100% of the funds that come into your household, you might be in a great position to learn something new about yourself, your finances and God's provision. Give. If not to PCC, that's fine. But give somewhere.

And if you do give to PCC, know that it will help us do what we're committed to do each weekend, so that you can have an authentic encounter with God, free of distractions. So that you can continue to check out church without pressure. So that you can invite your friends and family who "don't do church" to experience something different.

So that you - and the world - can be changed. Listen to this.

Aaron Niequist

How can I show You that I’m grateful?
You’ve been so generous to me.
How can I worship more than singing
And live out redemption’s melody?

I have been blessed – now I want to be a blessing
I have been loved – now I want to bring love
I’ve been invited – I want to share the invitation
I have been changed – to bring change, to bring change

Bring change, friends. Bring change.

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