The Make Room For More funding initiative provides all of us an opportunity evaluate the way we manage our God-given resources. I want to share with you the stories of people from High Point Church who have learned to be stewards, not owners, of all that they have. These are true stories of their personal stewardship journeys and the blessings that have overflowed in their lives and families as a result of their obedience to the Lord.
Through this funding initiative your faith is going to be stretched! Let these stories inspire you to take action in your own finainces. Begin tithing, get out of debt, look for a way to get wet with "Make Room For More" and believe for God to do a miracle in your own life.
Dan and Jenny Mechtel
Prior to attending High Point, Dan and Jenny had not attended church as a couple and life was quite a mess. They were buried in debt and thoroughly frustrated with how the future looked for them emotionally and financially. When they started attending church they had differing views on the importance of tithing. “Live first, give later” versus “Give first, so we can live better”. As they debated on tithing, the debt and frustration didn’t go away, or even start to diminish. It took a few months but they came together and agreed to tithe.
In 2007 the budget was redone to take 10% off each paycheck first and then start working on getting out of debt. There was a renewed sense of commitment to God and to each other wrapped up in this decision. They were unified in their giving and determined to tackle the bondage of debt together.
Faithfully, each payday, the tithe check was written first. On paper, it didn’t look like there would be enough to make much impact on the debt. But, somehow, each month the credit card statement came back with a smaller balance than the budget alone would have produced.
Coming into 2009 they could see the end in sight. If they kept tithing and kept paying on the debt, they would be debt free in May! The plot thickened, in February, Dan was laid off. But, despite the setback, Dan and Jenny remained committed to tithing and God had a blessing in store because of that faithfulness. April rolled around, Dan was still not working and it was tax time. The result was a tax return of the exact amount needed to pay off the debt completely! The return came April 30, 2009. Friday, May 1, 2009, Dan and Jenny wrote the final check to the credit card company, just like they had planned in December.
Dan and Jenny have seen God transform their marriage, their finances, and their emotional health as they committed more and more of their lives to Him. Each time they step out in a new way, they are excited to see what God has planned because they know He is moving!
Everyone likes to be apart of a winning organization and I am proud to say High Point is such an organization. Over the past few weeks we have been meeting with people in small group settings to share the Purpose, Plan, and Partnership opportunities of "Make Room For More." We have meet with over half of our church in these PIE meetings.
It has been amazing to hear about what High Point has meant to so many people. We started the Church with the premise that we would help people Find Their PLace | Develop Their Faith | Live Their Potential. I new that after five and a half years we were accomplishing that but I didn't realize truly how successful we had been at that. So many times during these moments of sharing I and the person who was talking have been in tears as we heard, why they loved the church. We heard people share about connecting with a loving community that they had never felt before, others shared about going out and buying a bible for the first time after a service and many talked about starting new jobs or businesses because of the support and encouragement of High Point.
The Big Idea behind "Make Room For More" is to "Making Room For More" Wins. We want to accomplish this by building a home for High Point where our ability to help people Find Their PLace | Develop Their Faith | Live Their Potential can improve substantially for all ages. A place where the life changing moments that have happened to you will better be able to happen to others.
Come the next two Sundays and Jump in on the Most Exciting thing for High Point since we launched over five years ago.
I got an email this week from a man in our church who is going through some medical treatment. The email was an update on his care and as I was reading it praying for him I noticed a little line at the bottom of the email..
With Easter coming up this next Sunday, some of you may be looking for a church to attend services or you may be looking for something different for your Easter worship service. How about Easter service in a movie theater? I’d like to invite those who are interested to attend services with me at High Point Church currently conducting services in the Showplace 16 in Inver Grove Heights. I will be attending the 10:30 am service. Let me know if you would like to join us! Pastor Tory promises a fabulous message.
WOW!!! What a great invitation! It made me ask "self, who are you inviting?" I am praying about who and am already thinking about neighbors to invite. Sometimes I can get cought up in the details and miss my own part in the process.
I do not know who will take him up on this offer but High Point will be prepared for them. I have been working and thinking about my message for weeks. We have special music, kids activities and media planned for them. It is going to be High Point at its best.
We all know people who need a fresh dose of the message of Easter. People who have given up on God. Who have given up on themselves and life. People who are frustrated or disenfranchised with church. People who haven't been apart of life giving Easter experience. We even know people who love checking new things out. I am
Who are you going to invite?
When we invite people to High Point something changes for us. We take ownership in a new way over the church. We become more spiritually in tune to others needs over our own. We Live out the great commission by exposing others to the message of Jesus.
Take time to Pray for the person before you invite them. Ask them to come in a normal non manipulative or pushy way. (remember people are excited about what you are excited about. Its why they like you.) Don't forget to get to church early to help them feel comfortable in the theatre.
Expect an AWAKENING!!!
This Sunday we made an important and Church Altering announcement... We are going to Make Room For More.
I want to share many more details with you. I believe the best environment to get on the same page, share my heart and get all the questions answered is in a small group environment. We are having P.I.E. (Pastors Information Exchange) nights over the next few weeks.
Please sign up at the welcome center and get the location info.
4/21 - 4/28 - 5/3 - 5/5 - 5/9 - 5/10 @7pm
Also, plan on attending Each Sunday leading up to May 22nd as we talk about what this means for us and how each of us can be involved.
I shared this story on Sunday to encouraging you in your financial stewardship journey. I hope it encourages you. I would also love to hear your story of Gods faithfulness.
Eric & Krissy Gondek: Our Blessed Life Story
Before we were married in December 2008, we were both giving a portion of our income to our church. After we were married, Eric began managing our finances, and we continued to make giving a priority.
A few times a year, we would go on a date, and Eric would bring a print-out of the budget so that we could talk about our finances. Eric has a degree in accounting and works in the tax field, so he primarily handled our finances.
During one of our budget dates in November 2009, we discussed that our total charitable contributions for that year would come to 10% of our taxable income when counting the pretty significant goodwill donations we made over the year. Krissy wasn’t satisfied with this and said, "You can't give your used stuff to God and have it count towards the 10%. He wants the first and best fruits."
Krissy wanted to start giving 10% of our income directly to God. We argued a little; Erik knew that the money just wasn't there. Krissy was 7 months pregnant, and we would be going to one income soon so she could stay home with our new baby. She insisted and said she didn't care where the money came from.
Before we left the restaurant, we agreed to step out in faith and increase our automatic withdrawal - Erik calls it our auto-tithe. That night, he increased it to 10% of our net income. The first withdrawal of the larger amount would happen in 6 days, and the spreadsheets told us that we would start eating up our savings within the next month.
That was on a Sunday. When we returned to work that Monday, we both received unexpected raises. Neither of us had a review, and it was not time for an annual raise. In fact, Krissy was working in social work for a non-profit where raises were not a normal occurrence at all. The amount of our raises actually put us in a better place than we were before we made the decision to increase our giving.
A few months later, Krissy was done with her job, the sick and vacation time was running out, and we were officially going to be down to one income with a newborn. We made the decision to attend High Point full time just before the baby was born, so we wanted our tithe to start coming to our new church.
We prayed and talked about our tithe and felt God challenge us to go from 10% net to 10% gross, so we set up our tithe on High Point's website based on our gross income. Unexpectedly, Krissy's sick and vacation time lasted two paychecks longer than we expected. Then during the rest of 2010, Erik received two raises and a promotion in the middle of a recession. Every time it seemed like we would run out of money in the next month, God blessed us in one way or another.
In the beginning of 2011, Krissy heard on Faith 900 that money was still needed in Haiti, and the station was doing a fund drive. She felt led to give a donation even though money was pretty tight for us and we were beginning to prepare for our second child. We kept putting off the actual donation; we agreed to give it, but neither of us remembered to actually log on and give the money.
At the same time, Erik was interviewing with a new company for a potentially better position. He received an email from the HR manager at the new company where he was interviewing, and the response was the standard, "We have decided to go with another candidate."
A few days later Krissy was on-line and remembered the donation to Haiti. Later that day, we made the contribution together. A couple days after that, Erik received a phone call from the HR manager - the one that sent an email saying they weren't interested. She said that she accidentally sent him the wrong email, and they would like to offer him the job.
After Erik got the offer, he went to his boss and told him that he wanted to stay, but he had an offer for a better paying job. His boss spoke with the necessary people in HR, and that day they offered him over a 10% raise to stay in his current role.
We took some of that extra money and, in addition to our regular tithe, we now give a small portion to a savings account we set up - that we named our God account - so that when we feel led to give to something, we have money already set aside.
We accredit all of this to God. When we started to let His word become an influence over our finances, we felt His blessing. We believe that what has happened in our finances is nothing short of a miracle. Not everything has been perfect for us, but we have always had more than enough. We never thought we would be able to make things work on one income, but with His help, we are able to give to Him off the top and live on the rest.
Are you living the Blessed Life?
Sunday is going to be a great morning. I truly believe it could be one of those mornings that you look back on in your life and say that was the Sunday something changed. That was the Sunday I experienced GOD!
I am sharing a message on hearing the calling of God. Yes, you can grab it on podcast but, its not the same as being their. I think that about most of the 52 weeks out of the year. I pray every week is life changing. Why should we put the energy and effort into making Sunday happen unless it is going to be a life changing day?
The weatherman says it might snow a bit. WE LIVE IN MINNESOTA! after 61" of snow we should be used to it by now.
I would hate for you to miss hearing Gods voice about your next step because of a little snow.
Come expecting. Come listening for God to speak direction and purpose into your life. I know I am.
I'll see you at Church.
It was a great Sunday on the 30th when High Point Celebrated its five year anniversary. We saw a Huge Crowed. Celebrated with pictures, videos, remember when stories and cinnamon rolls. It was fun to tell stories of what God has done in our past five years. The miracles, provision, heeling's and life change stories are to many to count. It was even more exciting to share where we are going as a church. Check it out.
"Clear lots of ground for your tents!
Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope,
drive the tent pegs deep.
You're going to need lots of elbow room
for your growing family.
You're going to take over whole nations;
you're going to resettle abandoned cities.
We are taking some big steps forward as we extend our tent poles for the next level of High Point Church.
High Point's next five years will be exponential. You are not going to want to miss it.