Big Sunday will be an awesome chance to get our whole church family together. We'll pause and thank God for how he has grown Jesus’ Kingdom through us, and we'll focus on how we might be part of reaching Newcastle and Lake Mac with the good news of Jesus.

We’re getting the whole family together

4 November 2018

Arrive before 9am (and drop off kids)

Session from 9.30am to 12noon

Lunch together from 12-1pm (bring a picnic rug)


Planing, Praying and Pledging Together in 2019

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
— Matthew 13:44-46

In these two short parables, Jesus speaks about what things are really worth. The man in the field and the merchant both sacrifice their present wealth for the greater treasure they’ve found. Jesus calls his disciples to put so much value in Heaven that we cheerfully and joyfully use our wealth in this world for the sake of the world to come.

In other words, it’s a joyous thing to ‘invest ahead’!

This is our prayer at HBC too. We want to be a family that’s always investing more in God’s kingdom; seeing people come into the kingdom, grow to maturity in the kingdom and grow the kingdom further. This isn't just "worth it". It's a joy because God invested himself - in the person of Jesus - towards this very same goal.

What follows is some detail about how we’re planning to invest with God in 2019. Please look through it carefully, remembering that every number represents a desire to love people with the gospel of Jesus.


OUR PLANS FOR 2019…

We have divided our financial plans for 2019 into two categories; a) what is necessary to continue our current programs and b) what we would love to do if we think we have the finances to do it.

B) WHAT WOULD WE LOVE TO DO IN 2019?

There are a bunch of things we’d love to do to help grow Jesus’ kingdom.

  1. Get our Building Deposit to $2m ($100k)
    Just like buying your own home, the bigger your deposit the better your chances of securing a loan. We’d love to increase our deposit to over $2m by the end of 2019.

  2. Free up our staff with an Administrative Ace ($20k)
    We want to help our Pastoral staff focus on loving people. So we’d like to put someone on who will help coordinate the administrative complexity of our big church family.

  3. Band Rehearsal and Recording Space ($15k)
    We’ve got some amazing musicians and we want to provide a space where they can rehearse, write and record songs. We’re thinking a small shipping container that we can relocate easily when we get a building.

  4. Staffing for Growth… in Kids, Membership, or AllNations ($20k-$60k)
    As our church family grows, there are always opportunities to love people better by employing staff.  We’d love to put someone 2 days per week into Kids, Membership, or our AllNations ministry... or maybe all three!

  5. Better Sound, Signs & Supplies ($15k)
    Everything from Sunday signage to equipment and supplies for kids and youth! We’d love to keep making our programs as good as they can be as we proclaim Jesus to Newcastle and Lake Mac.

If we included all of these ‘love-to-do’ things it would be an extra $210k on top of the necessary $88k. While we don’t think we can increase the budget by $300k in 2019, we’d love to know what - by God’s gracious provision - we can do.

A) WHAT’S NECESSARY TO CONTINUE OUR CURRENT PROGRAMS IN 2019?

Our basic budget will need to increase by 7.5% ($88k) in 2019 for several reasons.

We are expecting a significant increase in lease costs for the Hub and Lambton High School. We also need to keep our commitment to set staff wages at the average Newcastle income (derived from the 2016 Census Data: see more details here).

The Census Data revealed that we have slightly underestimated where this would be and we intend to start correcting this across our 14 pastoral staff.


AN INVITATION TO PLEDGE - AS WE PLAN

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
— 2 Corinthians 9:7

In the lead up to Big Sunday, we’re asking all HBC Growth Group Members to prayerfully and intentionally plan out our general giving for 2019. We'd love to see families and individuals have great conversations, pray together and then joyfully commit to giving. After that, we'd love you to anonymously tell us your 'best guess' to help our finance. 

We're hoping this will help us all in three ways.

  1. we're hoping it will encourage all of us to be prayerful and intentional as we approach giving. We’d love to hear stories of families working this out together, of friends sitting down and asking each other for advice and prayer as they consider their generosity before God.

  2. expressing the amount can be good for us. We want this to be anonymous because it really is a matter between each of us and God. But we also know that expressing a commitment helps us to consider it and keep it.

  3. it will help our Finance Team work out what we can afford in 2019.

However, if you have a conscience issue about this, please don’t feel the need to hand in a pledge form. We don’t want to create a conscience issue for you if you don’t feel comfortable with it.

You can either fill in your pledge online here, or print out this form, fill it in, and put it in a giving box at church before Big Sunday. Then at Big Sunday we'll tell everyone what we think we can do as a church in 2019.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What if I don't know what my giving will be in 2019?

Some of us will be in very uncertain circumstances, not knowing if we'll have income in 2019. That's ok, just tell us your best guess. If you end up being able to give more, that's great! Others will undoubtedly find themselves unable to give what they'd hoped. What matters most is our heart's desire to give to the Lord out of what we have, regardless of the amount.

 

What if my income increases and I can give more in 2019 than I pledged?

Christian giving should be an expression of our thankful and cheerful hearts. Paul commends the Corinthians to give a proportion of what they have rather than a specific dollar amount. Those who have less, give less and those who have more, give more. Therefore, if your income increases after you've pledged, it seems right that your giving should increase with thanks along with it.

 

What if only a few people decide to submit their pledge forms?

If only a few people pledge the finance team will still be able to make some projections about 2019. But the more pledge forms we get, the better our projection will be.

 

What if I really want to see one of those budget items happen?

We'd really love to see all those possible items happen too! Our Elders and Finance Team have a good understanding of what our church needs to prioritise. Keep praying for and trusting our leaders to lead us and please feel free to ask questions.

What if my circumstances change and I can't meet my pledge?

We're not going to be tracking people's pledges and we don't want people to feel burdened by their pledge amount. If circumstances change and you can't give what you thought you would be able to, that's ok. God knows your circumstances and your heart.

 

Why would I talk to others about how much I'm planning to give?

Money is a great gift from God. Paul also teaches that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1Tim 6:10). We have a fantastic opportunity to encourage and challenge each other. We can train each other in how to be more generous and spur one another on. We can also lovingly challenge each other in our financial decisions rather than keep them in the dark.

 

What if I don't feel I have enough to give or make a difference?

The amount doesn't matter. There are people at church who give only a few dollars per week because that's a generous amount for them. Giving isn't meant to be a burden but a joy. It's an expression that God is bigger and better than this world and that we're trusting in him.

 

What if I'm not planning to be in Newcastle in 2019?

We'll be very sad to see you go! If you're going to be around for part of the year, you could just scribble that on your card, so the finance team knows how to treat it.
We'd also love you to consider supporting HBC after you go... that's why we've set up the HBC One Percent Club. It's a group of people who love HBC and want to keep partnering with the work we're doing by supporting our MTS Apprentice Program.