Proactive, Sacrificial Generosity. It's a defining characteristic of the Jesus Community that emerges as we allow the extravagant love and "reckless spending" of God to invade and then to fuel our lives.
We saw this on February 12th as we explored the life of an ancient, humble, courageous, impoverished-yet-generous Jesus Community in Philippi. Together, we were moved by how this recently cultivated community had so allowed the extravagance of God's love to invade their lives that it generated in them a zeal to participate with Him by funding tangible Kingdom work throughout the Roman world.
We are a contemporary, East Bay Jesus Community made up of people who are learning to allow God's extravagant love to invade our lives...we are a community who is learning to tangibly respond to His love with the resources that He has gifted us.
Over the last year, your proactive response of sacrificial generosity has resulted in people's lives being transformed through the life and mission of The Open Door Community. You've given to your local church and have experienced, personally, the transformation that comes when we tangibly participate with God in what He is doing. What's more, your financial generosity has changed the lives of 35+ sponsored children around the world, enabled 17 local and global missionaries to live and narrate the Story of God in distinct places, and funded over 80 diverse humanitarian organizations world-wide. On top of that, you've given yourselves away to each other and those within your everyday spheres; you've volunteered to host, to sing, to storytell, and to work with ODC Kids; you've responded, tangibly, to the needs of friends, neighbors, and strangers; you've redirected finances to meet local and global crises; and you've shared your tables, your time, and resources without hesitation.
In the practice of proactive, sacrificial generosity, we are meeting Jesus. In the practice of proactive, sacrificial generosity, we becoming more proactively sacrificial in our generosity.
This Year... Our prayer is that, as a community, our roots would sink deeper into the love of God so that His local and global Kingdom-reach through us would continue to expand. We believe that the Spirit of Jesus is breathing fresh wind into The Open Door Community and, in so doing, is awakening our collective imagination to what is possible in neighborhoods, near and far. We believe that the Spirit of Jesus has something to say to us about how we can steward our resources so that we can live for the all-dimensional benefit of others.
To that end, Open Door's Resource Team has developed a supplement to help us personally and corporately listen for what God has to say to us about money. Click Here to be directed to our 2012 Supplement.
Part 1, titled "For My Records", is designed to enable you to get a clear picture of your financial reality as it was in 2011. Equally as important, this first section serves as a resource for you ask God how He'd like you to live with your money (give, save, and spend) in 2012.
Part 2, titled "My Response", is the supplement that Open Door's Resource Team would like to receive back from you for two reasons. First, to the extent at which your proactive, sacrificial generosity includes The Open Door Community, it'd be extremely helpful for us to know for the purposes of wise budgeting. Second, we'd love to get as accurate a picture as possible of the scope of the Kingdom Impact through Open Door's financial generosity. Our hope is to be able to share and to celebrate with our community God's local and global reach through our collective generosity (i.e. total # of children sponsored, missionaries supported, wells dug, etc.).
Note: In an effort to effectively and responsibly manage the data received and to communicate with you, the five members of Open Door's Resource Team will be the only ones to see and process our responses. This process will be led primarily by Open Door's Treasurer, Charlene O'Brien. The additional four members of the Resource Team have been carefully selected by Open Door's Steward Team (our elders), guided by Kara Lynch. Please don't hesitate to email either Charlene or Kara with questions, comments, or feedback on this process.
2 Ways to Respond: 1. Fill out the "My Response" Portion of the process and hand deliver your enveloped response card to our offering box on Sunday, March 4. 2. Mail your enveloped response to The Open Door Community. 1630 N. Main St. #311, Walnut Creek, CA 94596 by Sunday, March 4.
The Immediate Next Steps: Open Door's Resource Team will begin the work of responding to our responses. This will involve both the sharing of and celebrating the diverse portfolio of Open Door's collective giving as well as the formulating of our 2012-2013 budget.
Note: Open Door's Fiscal year runs from July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013
Thanks for allowing God to form you and, in so doing, form us. Prayers over your process!