By Larry Reed
Becoming Chairperson of the Finance Committee this year has been sort of like Jonah not wanting to go to Nineveh. You see, I believed the Church was in for a difficult year, because conventional wisdom says when you have a major fund raising campaign, normal tithes and contributions decline. So, I wanted someone besides me to have to lead the Finance Committee to resolve ongoing financial needs with fewer resources than in the prior year. My accounting firm specializes in tax exempt organizations and we have Churches of all denominations as clients, and every time one of them has had a major fund raising campaign, general tithes and offerings declined. I have seen the same result at Smoke Rise with past campaigns and similar results in another Baptist Church I belonged to many years ago.
Just like the folks in Nineveh surprised Jonah, you have certainly surprised me. Here is the good news, the congregation of Smoke Rise Baptist Church decided not to be part of conventional wisdom. For the first 13 weeks of our fiscal year (April 1 to June 30, 2016) our tithes and offerings have exceeded the same time period in 2015 by $11,965, which is a 3% increase! Both the amount and the increase over last year are impressive! It is just not done, it was supposed to decline. I am most thankful to be part of such a loving, caring and giving congregation and truly believe when I witness this kind of giving from you, our best years are ahead of us, not behind us. Please keep it up, as we have so many needs to meet. I feel confident you will do so.