Dear friends,

May and June are important months at First Christian Church. For the next 8 weeks, the FCC Board is working on two critical tasks: nominations to fill Board vacancies and creating a budget for the next fiscal year.

I know. These topics don’t sound exciting. But leadership and generosity are two powerful gifts given by the Spirit of God to empower God’s mission in the world. In Romans 12:6-8, the Apostle Paul outlines how various gifts come together to build a healthy church:

“We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.”

All these gifts are equally important, but leadership and generosity are especially prone to abuse. Sadly, some people seek church leadership to pursue their own interests and that often involves the misuse of church funds. We have all heard too many stories like that.

But a leader’s intentions need not be malicious in order to devastate a church. More commonly, people with enthusiasm are thrust into leadership before they are ready – before they have demonstrated the spiritual maturity necessary to bear the difficult and often painful burden of leadership. Immature leaders commonly avoid conflict, have trouble saying “no”, and often withdraw when circumstances become difficult. In this way, churches are not destroyed all-at-once by scandal, but rather, they waste away over time for lack of mature and faithful leadership.

It is especially noteworthy that in Rom 12:8 Paul uses the word “diligence” as the active description of leading. To lead is to give yourself persistently – your time, talent, and treasure – to the work of ministry, especially in the face of difficulty. That is a rare quality. We know someone is ready to lead when they have shown such diligent generosity.

For that reason, we take the gifts of leadership and generosity seriously at First Christian Church, and I am asking you to take them seriously as well. The health of our church depends on it.

As I wrote above, over the next two months we will engage in two important efforts: 1) choosing new leadership candidates to fill vacant Board positions, and 2) asking for giving pledges to help us build our next fiscal year budget. We are asking for your prayerful participation in both.

In order to help everyone understand how these efforts will work, I’ve put together a “toolbox” of information for our church:

Please take the time to read these carefully, even if you are not a member at First Christian Church. If you have any questions at all, please call me at the church office.

Thank you,

Jason Coker, Pastor

PS: By the way, have you noticed that God is doing good things through FCC? I hope so, because you are part of that! If you would like to help support what we do by giving, please click www.fccoceanside.org/give