Pillar 10. Grateful Hearts
a. FMC is committed to taking our next steps towards Christ together by being thankful, merciful, charitable, & generous
b. FMC possesses a spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude in all aspects of its interactions
c. FMC experiences gratitude for God’s grace and mercy in our lives, compelling us to extend grace and mercy to others
d. FMC focuses as much on the heart and intention behind our giving as we do on the gift itself
e. FMC acknowledges that our time, talents, and treasure don’t belong to us; all go back in the box at the end of the game
f. FMC covenant partners give tithes/offerings from the outflow of Christ’s work in their lives; we don’t pass a plate
g. FMC sees tithes and offerings as an act of worship, a privilege, and an opportunity to participate in Christ’s work on earth
h. FMC operates generously; we don’t meet needs minimally; we meet them with a spirit of generosity and abundance
i. FMC is a good steward of resources, measuring ROI for all expended resources (time, talent, and treasure)
Practice right stewardship of the goods we have been given, showing charity to those in need and offering generous support of the Church and its ministries.
Progress in holiness is an expected response of gratitude to the grace of God, which is initiated, sustained, and fulfilled by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. The first response of gratitude is prayer, and the daily discipline of prayer – both individually and together – should mark the Christian life. The life of prayer includes praise to God for His nature and works, sincere confession of our sin, and intercession for the needs of those we know and for the needs of the world.
As we practice the discipline of regular self-examination and confession, we are especially guided by the Ten Commandments.
Q. 2. How many things must you know that you may live and die in the blessedness of this comfort?
A. Three. First, the greatness of my sin and wretchedness. Second, how I am freed from all my sins and their wretched consequences. Third, what gratitude I owe to God for such redemption.
Q. 86. Since we are redeemed from our sin and its wretched consequences by grace through Christ without any merit of our own, why must we do good works?
A. Because just as Christ has redeemed us with his blood he also renews us through his Holy Spirit according to his own image, so that with our whole life we may show ourselves grateful to God for his goodness and that he may be glorified through us; and further, so that we ourselves may be assured of our faith by its fruits and by our reverent behavior may win our neighbors to Christ.
Venues to Implement this Pillar
1. Work with the finance committee to cultivate innovative ways to provide funding for ministry projects
2. Work with the Trustees to ensure that the church expresses an appropriate level of gratitude to contractors, volunteers, and other donors.
3. Support Abby as the brand and church aesthetics director to ensure the church always conveys reverence, gratitude, that we are good stewards of resources, & that we serve a generous and loving God.
Platforms & Exercises to Develop this Pillar
Develop a list of items the church can do at social functions to make them a first class - event
Develop FMC specific items to include in meals that are delivered or services that the church supports such as funerals & weddings.
Break out into groups of 2-3 and discuss ways the church can express gratitude better in our worship.