Posts Tagged ‘Generosity Team’

Story by Nancy Mairs.

You most likely have received your blue and green “Water the Roots” brochure in the mail encouraging you to spend some time praying about what you can do to “water the roots” of Richmond’s First Baptist Church (FBC) through your participation, giving of your time and financial resources so that our church can continue to bear abundant fruit. May sound a little heady, and you may decide, like almost 60% of the congregation, to just ignore the challenge and turn your attention to the demands of everyday life. But before you do, take a minute to think about the rich history of our church, and how we enjoy today the work that has occurred through the firm commitment of others who have gone before us over the past 234 years, who have taken seriously the challenge to invest themselves in “watering the roots” of First Baptist.

Water the Roots

And, to bring it closer to home, think about Ollie Wells. As Steve Booth, Associate Pastor, Ministry of Formation, explained, “In 2013, Ollie found himself in the unique position of participating on both the Generosity Team and being the chairman of the Budget Team. He had the dream of seeing a higher level of participation during FBC’s 2014 Generosity Team Emphasis. Of course, it would be great to see each card come back with a commitment to give a certain amount of money to the church in the coming year, but Ollie’s real dream was to see more people make any sort of commitment.”

With that vision in mind, Steve began to think about making the annual Generosity Team Emphasis more significant to our congregation. It all began to come together during a church staff meeting when the idea for “watering the roots” was mentioned as a way to think about the budget process and the metaphor was connected to 1 Corinthians 3:6. In the NIV translation of the Bible, the verse reflects Paul’s teaching to the Corinthians, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” When he heard this verse, Steve saw the progression as a reflection of how our church has grown over the years. “When you think about it,” Steve explained, “God planted the seed of what has become our beloved church in the hearts of a small group of believers meeting in downtown Richmond in 1780, and the members have watered that seed through acts of service, faithful giving, and a commitment to outreach over the subsequent 234 years! What could be a better way to ‘water the tree’ that God has given us … the First Baptist ‘tree’ … than to ask for the congregation’s help in continuing the work that God began.”

Steve went on to explain why November 16th is such an important date in the life of our church. This is the day that has been designated as “Consecration Sunday.” “Just look at Webster’s dictionary and you’ll see the significance of the word ‘consecration’ and why it is so appropriate to use for this year’s Generosity Team Emphasis. Consecration means to set apart as holy, to devote to a sacred or serious purpose,” Steve explained. And what could be more set apart as holy and devoted to a sacred purpose than the work being done at FBC. “This rich word explains what the Generosity Team Emphasis is all about,” continued Steve. “There’s an interdependency of many people with many gifts, which become more powerful when done in concert with others.”

Don’t you want to be a part of the action? Take your “Water the Roots” commitment card, put it in a place where you will see it every day, and start praying now about what you can do to be a part of the action here at First Baptist. And, don’t forget to fill out the card and turn it in on Consecration Sunday, November 16th. Invest your time, energy, and financial resources here to help “water the roots” of First Baptist and who knows how we will be remembered 234 years from now!

First Baptist Ministry & Missions Budget for 2015

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By Joyce Clemmons.

Giving cheerfully from a generous heart is not like paying dues to your local club or organization. It is not about supporting the First Baptist budget. It is about letting God be first in our lives and committing our time, talent and treasure to His mission and the ministries that will bring His kingdom to earth. Generous gifts bring joy as hurts are healed, the lost are saved, and the hungry are fed.

GIVING CHEERFULLY, LIVING GENEROUSLY, the Generosity Team’s theme for 2012, describes acts of worship that honor God. As we share a portion of what our generous God has blessed us with, we reflect on how our gifts change lives.

Generosity treeThe Stewardship Education Committee recently changed its name to the “Generosity Team” to reflect that view of Christian stewardship. That change is best shown in a new graphic design that depicts what an exciting and all-encompassing word generosity is.

This new approach is the result of recommendations from a “Generosity Audit” conducted in the fall of 2011, by Allen Walworth, Executive Vice President of Generis. Allen spent a day with staff, church teams and leaders. He affirmed FBC for the many things we do extremely well. He also made recommendations designed to accelerate the generosity of the congregation. The Generosity Team presented these recommendations to the Deacons in March. After the Deacons process them, the recommendations will be presented to the church.

Thomas S. Monson says in An Attitude of Gratitude: “This is a wonderful time to be living here on earth. Our opportunities are limitless. While there are many things wrong in our world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that work, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help. . . . We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.”

Generosity Team: Joyce Clemmons, team leader; Stephanie Whittington; Joy Townsend; Walter Morton; Steve Booth, staff liaison.

View the First Baptist Church Ministry Action Plan.

Joyce ClemmonsSince Joyce joined First Baptist in 1984, she has taught the Acts Class, chaired the Personnel, Budget, Finance, Stewardship, and Nominating Committees, and served on the Flower Delivery Team. Currently Joyce is a deacon, member of Adult Bible Study and Teaching Team, leads the Generosity and Pulpit Supply Teams, represents FBC on the Executive Team of the Richmond Baptist Association, and is a student at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. Joyce’s 30-year career with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals as International Sales Manager for Military Sales encouraged her love of travel, which she continues in her retirement. She and her husband, Edward, are looking forward to a three week trip to Ireland this summer.

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