The background music for the human race was written in a minor key. People woke every morning to a tone of tension, knowing something was wrong but not having a solution. The deep longings of the soul had no resolution; darkness prevailed; the need for light was universal…
John – the longest-living Apostle – wrote his version of the Christmas Story against the backdrop of that despair: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1).
Life – without the Creator of life – offers no peace or hope. Existence becomes empty when the horizon of Eternity is unreachable in the darkness. Mangers and shepherds – angels and Wise Men – are all great for the reenactment of the drama… but the satellite view offered by John focuses on the Big Picture: the darkness has been pierced by the arrival of The Light. We now have The Way, in Jesus.
Merry Christmas, my friend. Thanks for allowing me to challenge your thinking again today, as we head into an amazing week, understanding the Big Picture. Would you allow me a short, personal moment?
We’re all reflecting on the year almost past as we set our sights on the year just before us. During 2019, my time has been spent on two principle themes: through The Master’s Program, we’ve helped Christian leaders discover ways to enlarge their commitment to give time, talent and treasure to the fulfillment of the Great Commission and the expansion of Jesus’ Kingdom. And, alongside that, I’ve spent dozens of days – partnered with other Christian organizations – helping them raise money from their constituents to advance their Kingdom missions. Steve Douglass – president of Cru – told me recently that he knows that I’ve been involved in helping to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for the Kingdom – and it’s an honor for me to serve our common cause in that way.
Missing from my 2019 calendar: any event – involving our TMP community – organized to secure contributions for our ministry. Our primary work with our Master’s friends creates ever-greater commitments to give to causes to which they feel called; my ancillary work for other ministries helps to catalyze their donors for Kingdom investing. Our efforts – year-round – are in support of other ministries; the funding to support our TMP leadership infrastructure comes from ministry partners who understand our ethos of service to others as our primary pursuit…
For two decades, our experience has been consistent: we run at a financial deficit for 11 months, and, then, God provides through friends like you at the year-end to recover those reserves and eliminate the shortfall.
We came into December needing about $300,000 to restore our operating capital, allowing us to end the year in-the-black. We’ve received about $120,000 so far; a gap of $180,000 remains. We have no way to know who might be planning to make a last-minute gift, but we’re praying.
If you’d like to help us start 2020 with the same two-part agenda – helping Christian leaders elevate their engagement in advancing God’s Kingdom, and helping Christian ministries procure the resources to enable their missions – you’d be multiplying your giving toward 100x returns.
Can you help? Click here to see your options. We’re confident that God will come through… through friends like you.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. Merry Christmas!