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Knowledge & News
Thought provoking topics and series, necessary news and information.
For the next six weeks, as we do each year, we talk about the pledge drive and the importance of financial sustainability. Then we don’t say much more about it. We pledge the budget, then we go put it to work. In the coming weeks you’ll hear stories from Collective folks about why they give and what that means to them - in services, blog posts, emails. We’ll remind ourselves why this work is good, and important, and sacred. And, we’ll remind ourselves that it isn’t free. The best things in life aren’t. So lemme set us up a bit of a foundation, a baseline for our pledge drive.
I’ve said before,
If we want the WE that is celebrated every week in the community statement, it makes us a part of the WE who are responsible for sustaining it.
If we want the community imagined and affirmed in the community statement, we have to make that possible with our financial support.
In the giving letter that was sent this week, you’ll find this statement:
And if you haven’t supported this, yet. Know that it is because of the financial support of these people that you’ve benefited. So how can you show gratitude for that? How might you join in paying that forward?
And let’s just name tension from the outset: On one hand, I love you, this is a safe place, some of us come from backgrounds where church and money have left us wounded. The last thing I want is to add stress, burden, or remove any sense of safety, any sense that your welcome and belonging is conditional, it is not. No one will ever be turned away. And yet, I also love Collective. I believe in what we’re doing. I am inspired by you, and us and this community, by the stories, and the transformation, the healing and joy, our identity, reputation, and life force in DeLand. This is good and sacred work. But it is not free.
And for us, Stacy and I, giving to Collective isn’t like some instant gratification, an immediate spiritual or emotional reward; Honestly, very often it sucks, and feels foolish, and there often seems to be better ways to spend our money, any given month. But, we have seen over time that this place, these people, the special thing we’re doing, the friendships, the impact on our kids, the effect we’ve had in our community... It’s not like taking drugs, or buying a candy bar. It’s not retail therapy or a slice of cake. The reward is in the long game. It’s not fee for service, it’s a choice to support good things in this world, cuz it ain't free. It’s a choice to bypass the shallow product, for the deeper investment. You may not even be able to articulate what that is, but you know.
But there’s is a trick. This responsibility is a gift. How many of us who are parents look at our kids and go, God, these things are so expensive, they always want to eat, and have clothes, and do fun things, and go to doctors when they’re sick, and it costs so much money. I mean, sure it does, but having kids, bearing that burden, that responsibility, is a gift, a labor of love. Same with this congregation. We have this life here, that we’ve created, and we must sustain, and raise, and develop, and love.
All of this to say: Let’s let our pledge drive flow from our passion, not cause us stress.
So, here’s the goal, we’re gonna pledge the budget of $13,000 per month by Dec. 31st. This is a jump, but we’ve done this before. Last year we jumped from $5,000 - $9,000 a month, and we did it! So $9,000 to $13,000 is totally doable. We’re calling on the online community - all our YouTube Subscribers, the SSB community, our sizable FB following. We can pull together and do this. For what we’re able to do for $13,000 / mo. This is a steal, and so doable.
There’s much more to share in the coming weeks. You’ll have the budget breakdown so you know where the money goes. We’ll be making some huge announcements about some incredibly exciting things coming in 2017, you got some of those teasers in the Pledge Drive Letter, and some of the reason for the budget bump.
So here it is: if you’re already a recurring scheduled supporter of Collective, thank you! Let’s give these folks a hand. We hope you’ll commit to keep this up, or increase your support as we grow together. If you’re giving regularly, but not a recurring scheduled giver, we hope you’ll go ahead and set up a recurring scheduled gift. This makes it so much easier for us to project, track, and be responsible with our budget and your money - to live well within our means. If you give off and on, or haven’t given to support Collective, we really hope you’ll consider it.
You can give in many different ways, all super easy: Search “Collective Church” in the app store. Text WEARECOLLECTIVE to 77977. Or, simply visit CollectiveGives.Com. Your recurring scheduled gift counts as your pledge. Or if you can’t automate it, there is an easy pledge form on the website.
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.