In today’s ‘me first’ culture, it seems almost an anomaly when someone or a group puts others’ needs ahead of their own. We are more accustomed to seeing this behaviour in our Christian circles, but it is a pleasure to highlight this again through a recent example. This church is in no way looking for praise, but let us allow their story to serve as an opportunity to ask ourselves if we also are in the position to be part of God’s answer to prayer.
At The Link EMC in Medicine Hat, such an opportunity came to them in 2020, and they answered God’s call to put others first. With most Linkers still working despite Covid, the church’s financials remained relatively stable last year.
Like other congregations, they have several ministry partners, organizations they regularly support, locally, within Canada, and globally. As months went by and pandemic effects worsened, the church elders became aware that these organizations were being drastically affected as their donations steadily dropped. As they discussed this, they wondered what they could do to be more generous, over and above the church’s regular contributions. They had money in the bank that they could use in many ways, including to help finance a new church home. But they realized they had the means to make a real difference to these struggling organizations. Pastor Mike Landry reports that it wasn’t a hard decision. “They discussed it for about 10 minutes, decided it needed to be done, was the right thing to do, and they were going to do it.” They put thoughts of how the church might use the funds themselves on the back burner and chose instead to meet the pressing needs of others. Several sizeable cheques were written and sent, and one can easily imagine the eruption of grateful praise to God when the envelopes were opened in the offices of several ministries.
This congregation has a history of generosity. When they received the report that The Link had been able to be more generous in 2020 than at any other time in their 15-year history, the church family was overjoyed at the news. “We count it a privilege to give,” says Pastor Mike. “God has blessed us as a church and we want to share his blessings with others.”