I was standing and worshiping this past Sunday when Karen slipped what appeared to be a letter into my hand. She rarely interrupts our time of worship so I knew it was important.
As I read down the page I soon realized there was a check attached. The check was made out to the church for $402,000. The long awaited check from Reliance had arrived.
Ministry is not about money, but it takes money to maintain a ministry. This check has multiple implications for NorthPoint at this key point in her journey! It was also a tremendous gift after ten years of struggle. Sadly, it is not the full $1,300,000 we are owed. But 30%, with the possibility of another disbursement down the line, is a blessing indeed.
Isn't it interesting that we leased and left our facility, and cut our expenses to the bone, balanced the budget, and then the check arrived? I think it is.
We will be able to repay church members who have covered mortgage payments, pay of the condo, repay a loan incurred to make the final payment to teachers at the school, and bring staff salaries current. Members who generously supported our ministry in faith will be "made whole." Sadly, approx 3/4 of the money will go to repay debt. Joyfully, we will be debt free save for the mortgage on the Sierra Way property, and we will have money in the bank.
This money in the bank will allow us to think pro-actively, rather than re-actively, about where God is leading us! For almost three years our Board has been putting out fires and reacting to problems over which we often had limited control. Our new Board will actually be able to take a breath of fresh air, without panic, and ask God what He wants us to do!
There is a special gift that we have generously received each month that has been helping cover salaries. The Board directed that for the next three months, this money will be used to cover the outstanding payments on my D. Min. at Golden Gate Seminary. The money was directed for that use, but with the donors permission has been helping cover salary. Bringing the payment current will be a significant factor in allowing Paul to re-engage his degree that has been on hold this past year. Stepping out from under the constant financial stress of this past year will be another key component of re-engaging the D. Min. Re-engaging the D. Min. project is going to force me to focus on the next need of our church.
An Important Perspective:
This money can be a great springboard to move forward. It must not become an excuse for maintenance! I would invite the prayers of all our people as we move forward from the powerful event of our Shepherds Retreat, with this very timely financial blessing!
I believe this check is going to send a powerful message to some undecided people. Over the past year we have heard anxious people ponder the future of NorthPoint. People have asked, "Are we going to make it?" The combined message of the Shepherds Retreat and the Reliance Check is.... "OH, YEA!" NorthPoint is going to more than make it! Under God's mighty hand, we are going to be just fine!
Let me speak a sincere thank you to each and every one of you who have supported the NorthPoint ministry with your prayers, finances, and hard work! We have truly turned a corner. And now we are going to see what God has for us in the coming year. I believe it will be very amazing.
We love you,
Paul, Karen, Chris, and Shannon