$266,000—the Christmas Offering goal looked daunting projected on the screen on stage. Although I was excited to learn about how our offering would benefit various important initiatives, I also felt somewhat conflicted. I wanted to give generously on the one hand, but was limited by my personal financial situation on the other. I knew what mattered wasn’t so much the actual amount as it was one’s heart. Still, I believed more could be done.
I was praying one morning when I received the idea of holding bake sales to benefit the Christmas Offering. I excitedly ran the idea by my twin sister, Christine, who encouraged me to email Pastor Peter. I did and soon received a reply: “I’m totally open to it.” (Yes!) With the green light to move forward, I reached out to partners to help donate baked goods and man the bake sale table.
Despite the preparations, I was feeling anything but ready that first bake sale Sunday. Christine had barged into my apartment before 7 am to begin baking, but even that wasn’t early enough to get everything ready. We didn’t have nearly as many baked good donations signed up as I had hoped, and I had to abandon a tray of broken cookies to get to church on time. As I approached the Dr. John Grieco Elementary School, I felt frazzled and anxious—I was sure this bake sale would be a complete bust and I felt discouraged even before entering the building. As I parked, however, I remembered that the bake sale wasn’t about me, it was for God. As I walked over to the entrance, I quickly prayed, “Whatever happens—this is for You, Lord, so may YOU be glorified!”
I had a great time at that first bake sale, and it became the catalyst for the growing success of the subsequent bake sales. Across three Sundays, we managed to raise over $2,500 to contribute to the Christmas Offering. The total amount raised was much more than I had anticipated, but it wasn’t what gave me the greatest satisfaction. What impressed, humbled, and moved me most were the ways in which the Metro community came together to support the effort. Metro partners and attendees proved to be talented bakers (and shoppers for those who wanted to contribute bud didn’t have the time or skills), enthusiastic promoters and sellers, and incredibly generous donors.
As I conclude, I leave you with my key takeaways (i.e. what I need to keep telling myself):
· Metro is open to trying out new ideas, so brainstorm with God and collaborate with staff, partners, and attendees; don’t be afraid to take the reins and give something a shot
· There are many amazing people at Metro—make more of an effort to get to know them (yes, it’s hard as an introvert, but the operative word is effort)
· God is more faithful and so much greater than often expected—don’t limit what He can accomplish
· Don’t worry so much about what others might think or whether you will fail/succeed—God still thinks you’re awesome
· Ask Kayla for her chocolate chip cookie recipe