Dear Church Family,
What a joy it was to baptize two precious believers as a part of our worship service this past Sunday. We always rejoice to stir the baptismal waters and pray that we will see it over and over again.
I rejoice in the recent NCBC 101 class that we had last Sunday. Our church staff and leaders were able to spend some quality time with both guests and new members in our church. Be on the lookout for more of these classes that are designed to encourage those interested in making membership at North Central a priority.
I am particularly encouraged at the young couples that are joining our fellowship. We always want to be reaching out to youth, College students, young couples, and their families. This is our future. I’m so encouraged that our church is made up of folks from the total age spectrum. This is healthy. Young people need mentoring from the older. The older need young people around them to keep them aggressive to reach the culture. We are blessed to have them all!
We are literally seeing a financial miracle take place in the life of our church. As you know, our mortgage comes due in November of 2017 and we will owe nearly 1.18 million dollars at that time. Now, we could simply go out and obtain another loan for this amount. Our church felt that this was not wise. I agree. So we embarked on a journey to raise this money to be able to pay of our indebtedness when the note is due. Currently as of the writing of this Lifeline we have gathered $476,553.51 toward this effort! We already have over 40% of the money in hand.
Our Stewardship Committee is looking into the best way to gather and hold these funds that we will receive the most interest. Most of the banks are paying less than one-half of a percent, even on large amounts. Our committee has deposited these funds in the Church Growth Investment Fund through the Florida Baptist Financial Services in Jacksonville, Florida. Here we are getting more than two times the bank’s best amount and receiving a return of 1.1%. There is the possibility of gaining a fraction more of interest in these funds with the Convention account but your committee is committed to making sure that all funds are accessible when we need them and the principle is guaranteed. This is important to our church and our committee. Thank you for your faithful giving to the Unhindered Campaign.
Let me say a word about the importance of our church being debt free. Our Christian convictions in America are being challenged on every front. There are places where Pastor’s sermons are being examined by government officials and law enforcement and when the perceived politically correct rights are being confronted, there is the potential for a backlash to the Pastor and to the church. If this continues, there may come a day when we may lose some of our rights and privileges that we enjoy under a benevolent government. The government could step in and say, “If you preach against this or that, you will lose your tax exempt status.” Who knows how that would affect our ministry in the future? We could face future taxes on our property that we are not paying today. It would be very wise for us to be unencumbered by anything that is unnecessary. Freeing up a mortgage makes us lean and able to react from strength instead of weakness. I love the fact that we will one day “owe no man anything but to love them”. By the way, I encourage you to be debt free as a family. This would be wise for any individual or family.
Ladies, make sure you are at the Women’s Retreat that is scheduled for Feb. 20-21 at beautiful Lake Swan Camp in Melrose, Florida. Our ladies don’t get away that often for a retreat so men, let’s make sure that they get this chance. Rhonda Ellis was once a college student at North Central and now heads up a ministry called “Cultivating a Home”. I sense great momentum for this event. It would be awesome for our college girls to attend as well. You won’t regret this great time of learning and fellowship.
What a joy it is to be your Pastor. We live in very important days. Our culture wants to know if Jesus is real. Our children wonder if all they’ve heard is true about Jesus. Let’s be the answer. The answer that Christ is real and He really does save us from the guilt of sin and give us abundant and eternal life. God bless you!
A Wonderful February
Dear Church Family,