I want to share a few things that was absolutely amazing when it comes to our leadership team. I could never have imagined having such an incredible team at Netcast, especially this soon. Beyond that, I never imagined that within 2 years of moving here to plant Netcast, that we would have the responsibility / opportunity of managing so much of God's Kingdom Resources.
I am humbly, a very proud pastor today. Here's why...
Every budget conversation I have ever been a part of, prior to Netcast, was a catalyst in exposing a lack of unity. People are funny when it comes to money. Jealously and Envy creep in. People start getting bitter about how one person has a larger budget line than another. Salaries create anxiety and chaos, as well as revealing a lack of trust in God's provision. The list can go on….
But, not with our team!! If anything, working through the new budget exposed a unity, that I thought "probably" existed, but was absolutely confirmed through this process. The entire team was on board with trying to decide what seemed best for Netcast, rather than how we can benefit personally as individuals. There was never a feeling that someone was trying to take care of their personal needs or departments needs over the needs of Netcast as a whole. For that I am so grateful.
Often times when dealing with budgets; vision is not clear. Therefore, to allocate money somewhere where there is a difference in opinion with vision, can cause a stir. Our vision as a church is continuing to be more clear as we move forward. In addition to that, I was so proud how through our budget conversations, the leaders at Netcast stayed focused on things that matter rather than fighting over things that don't matter. Everyone kept the vision of Netcast at the forefront of conversation. We are about worship, the gospel, community, authenticity, advancing the kingdom, making disciples, outward focus and generosity. All of that is reflected in our budget.
3. Long Term Thinking.
The temptation with a budget is to think to short and too small. So, people make decisions on what will effect tomorrow, yet forget about next year. People think about where they are now, not where God is leading them for the future. As a Leadership team, it amazed me how everyone was able to grasp long term thinking. The team was able to make decisions based upon where we are going and not where we are now. They chose to make decisions now that will benefit everyone in 5 years. Because of that, much of the team put our pride to the side and chose to sacrifice personal preference for the benefit of the Kingdom of God. God desires sacrifice and promises to bless this one single act of faithfulness. I pray this continues to define us as a church and am so proud of our team.
Netcast is becoming an extremely generous ministry. We are making decisions now that are freeing us to be generous in the future. Not many churches our size with our budget will give away as much money as Netcast will. Our generosity is becoming ingrained into the DNA of who we are. The Netcast Leadership team is determined to continue to be defined by that. The team has modeled this in their personal lives and now it is continuing on within the direction of the church. May Netcast always continue to be a generous church.
Part of the reason that Netcast has been so blessed by the Lord is because our leaders have been willing to risk what other churches are often not willing to risk. The leaders at Netcast are ready and willing to do things better and more effective at the risk of anything, for the glory of Jesus and seeing disciples made.
Budget conversations, often times become the sole reason why churches don't do this. Churches tend to be too safe. They use too much worldly wisdom and not enough faith. They are content with being content and feel like they are doing something because they are sustaining themselves and meeting budget.
I am so proud at how the leaders at Netcast will never allow us to be like that. Had Netcast been started with that mentality we would still be in the YMCA asking questions about; "why we are not reaching people, why are we not growing, why are we just like all the other churches." But we're not asking those questions. Rather we are asking questions like, "why do we have $40k in the bank after 18 months; yet gave away over $30k in the past year? Why do we have over 400 people in our services? Why is 1/2 of our church in community groups? Why are people experiencing God like never before? Why do we have over 20 people in the queue, ready to be baptized?"
Here's our answer…..Because all throughout the bible Jesus rewards risk and faith. Without faith we cannot please God. - Hebrews 11. What makes Netcast, Netcast; is our determination to not be safe (not stupid; but not safe.) Safe people don't defeat Goliath like David. Safe people don't break down Jericho's walls like Joshua. Safe people don't walk on water like Peter. Safe people don't make good missionaries like Paul. Safe people don't lead the most influential churches in America. And Netcast cannot be in New England, what we all dream we will become, if it is lead by safe leaders who are constantly making safe decisions.
Right now, Hell is being destroyed on the North Shore and we are playing a large part in fighting the battle. I don't mean that in an arrogant way, but for some reason Jesus has put his hand on us with power. He has blessed us with money, people, bands, leaders, gifts, wisdom, an anointing etc….because we are willing to risk it all for His name and Glory. At Netcast we preach boldly, we sing loudly, we live authentically, we lead faithfully, we risk everything, we pursue excellence in all we do, we worship passionately, we spend money to advance the Kingdom in any way possible, and we are generous with our finances. We will not stop, we cannot be stopped and may we not ever become content in our pursuit of these things.
I am so proud of our leaders at Netcast. They've shown themselves to be diligent, faithful, prayerful and lovers of the gospel. May God grant us another awesome year of kicking some Satan tail!!