The following testimony was presented to the congregation on January 28, 2018 by Kim Wu.
First, let me start by telling you that I am not a salesman. I have never liked having anything to do with sales at all. In fact, if I had to try and sell something to someone, I would probably end up convincing that person NOT to buy it, because I would feel so bad about putting them on the spot. And I am willing to bet that many of you can relate.
So you can imagine my reaction when I got an email from Pastor Will this fall, asking me to be a Visitor for the Capital Campaign. Absolutely not, I thought. Way too far out of my comfort zone. I hadn’t even figured out how I was going to support the Campaign, much less ask other people to contribute. I felt kind of bad saying no, but that’s exactly what I did. I sent an email back to the pastor. “Sorry, but I can’t do it. I already have too many commitments. Couldn’t possibly add another. So sorry.”
And then, in the middle of the night, I had one of those long awake periods. You know, where your mind starts churning on things, and you just cannot get back to sleep for an hour or two? And I began to get REALLY uncomfortable with my answer to Pastor Will’s request. Apparently, God was not going to let me get out of this one. And I just knew I had to change my No to a Yes. And so, at 6:30 am that morning, I sent another email to Pastor Will. “Ignore my earlier response. All those reasons why I couldn’t get involved were just excuses. It is way out of my comfort zone, but I will give it a try.” And even though I knew that God was pushing me to do it, I was incredibly nervous about it.
The next week, I went to the Visitor Orientation session, and I was the only one who showed up. So Charlie and I talked for about an hour. And one thing he said stuck with me. He said, “We are asking you to sacrificially give to the Campaign, but we don’t want you to give until it hurts. We want you to give until you can feel joyful about it.” Being joyful about my financial support of this effort. That idea just grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.
So I started thinking about this connection between generosity and joy. We all know that being generous brings us joy. (In fact, there is a book about it, which explains that there IS a causal relationship between the two.) One of the easiest examples we see of this is when giving a Christmas or birthday gift to someone. You know, when you find that unexpected but perfect thing, and you know that person is going to LOVE it. And you can’t wait for them to open the gift. That is joy found through generosity.
I want to experience THAT kind of joy in my giving to this campaign. This campaign is not so much about making some necessary repairs to the building and retiring our mortgage. It’s really about being able to bless others. Expanding our outreach to others in need. Striving to fulfill the Great Commission and making true disciples of Christ. There are beautiful and important things happening here in our church already, but we have the opportunity to exponentially grow the blessings we bestow on others. And I am excited to be a part of that. This brings me joy. Because what happens here matters to me. And this is God’s plan for us – to live joyful lives that come from blessing others.
And so, after giving this much thought, I was left with a yearning for a way to support this campaign. And that’s why I have chosen to get a part-time job, in order for me to make a meaningful, sacrificial gift.
Once I personally committed to supporting the campaign, becoming a visitor has been shockingly easy for me. I am joyful about my participation, and honestly I want you to experience the same joy. I want this church to be able to bless others in ways that we cannot even imagine right now. So I am asking you to do a couple of things:
- If you are contacted for a home visit, either through a phone call or an email – respond to that email, or return the phone call if you missed it. I think making that initial contact is the hardest part of being a visitor. It’s like making what’s referred to as a cold call. You just don’t know what kind of reception you are going to get. And now I want to take a moment and point out that during the visit, you will not be asked to make a commitment to the campaign and provide a specific dollar amount for your gift on the spot. We merely explain the campaign, and leave you with giving cards to send in later. Only you and our Director of Finance will know the amount of your pledge.
- If you haven’t been contacted yet, you can sign up to receive a visit out in the narthex after the services today. There are tables set up for that purpose. And if you want to do your visit right now, there are visitors ready to sit down with you and have that discussion here at the church. A visit only takes about 15 minutes.
- Volunteer to become a visitor. The church needs you to make this a success. WE need you to make this a success.
So, to wrap up this testimony I want to leave you with one thought. I can’t really take credit for my participation in this campaign. Remember, if it was up to me, I would have just said no. This has all been God working through me, as I have finally begun to surrender the reins of my life to God. I hope you will prayerfully consider how God is calling you to surrender to his will for this campaign and the future of our church. Thank you.