In the second section of our church covenant, it says, “I will share the responsibility of my church by being a faithful part of congregational stewardship.”  This principle is based upon Acts 6:1-7.  In that text, the early church had a need (vs 1), the leadership met with the whole church to propose a solution (vs 2), and the entire congregation approved of how they would move forward to meet the need together(vs 5).

In accordance with that text, as well as many others, Baptists have historically been congregational in their polity structures.  We have that blessing as well.  The stewardship of our congregation is a sacred trust that we all share under the headship of Christ.  Our participation in that stewardship is very important, which is why we strongly encourage all of our members to attend our quarterly business meetings.

This coming Sunday evening, we have three very important matters that we will be considering.  The first is a joyful blessing.  We are poised to begin sending out our first long term missions partners.  If the congregation approves, we will be privileged to send out Bella Epps, Tyson Lott, and T.J. and Katie Weaver to serve for extended periods in foreign fields for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is a very significant development in our missions advancement, and I am thankful for all that our Global Missions Advancement Team has done to help bring us to this point.  We will be discussing how we can pray for these members and how we can function as a support system for them as they go.

Secondly, after almost 2 years of research and deliberation, the Pastors, with the support of the Deacons, are prepared to bring a motion before the church regarding our Cooperative Program Giving.  We are thankful for the faithfulness of our denomination and its structures in a number of ways, but we also have the responsibility to be the best stewards of our finances, particularly as regards the distribution of those Cooperative Program dollars through and to those different entities.  On Sunday evening, we will discuss a recommendation that we believe better represents what Scripture calls us to support in terms of cooperation with our fellow churches.

Finally, we also have a serious matter of membership to deliberate.  Morningview’s membership is one of those critical areas of stewardship that we all bear responsibility for.  We all share the blessing and responsibility of getting to know and bringing into our membership new brothers and sisters in Christ.  We all share the blessing and responsibility of loving one another, encouraging one another to faithfulness, and holding one another accountable.  And we all share the responsibility and burden of praying for those in open sin, pursuing those straying from the path of godliness, and ultimately disciplining those who continue in unrepentant sin.

I hope that each of you understand what an important part you play in the life of our church.  We all share the responsibility to honor Christ in how we “do” church.  Under the Lordship of our Savior, we are called to obey Scripture, to be good stewards of His resources, and to faithfully proclaim the gospel through all of our different ministries.  So be here Sunday evening!  I love you all dearly.