We believe God has given us an inspiring vision. He has blessed us in countless ways so that we can be a blessing in Southampton, within the wider church, and around the world – and we long to be even more of a blessing.
Refresh isn’t about more staff and activity for their own sake, but that more people experience God’s generous grace. Nor is it about a building, but about what God can do through our building as we seek to be a beacon of grace and hope on Above Bar Street.
A challenging vision
This is a challenging vision: it is a challenge to increase our regular giving by 10%; it is a challenge to find an extra £1.4 million. But the Lord is stirring us up to dare more for him, to do more with him, and to give more to him. We are asking each of us to do two things: to pray that God would provide what we need to fulfil this vision, and then pray about what we can give, including our time and talents, not just money.
The way we give
Some of us may feel we don’t have much to give. The crucial thing, though, is not what we give, but the way we give. According to Jesus, a poor widow was more generous giving two copper coins than rich people giving large donations: ‘All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’ (Luke 21:4). Paul says God loves it when we give cheerfully, not reluctantly or under compulsion (2 Corinthians 9:7). Giving generously is a wonderfully joyful aspect of our discipleship.
Refresh is a single project, based on a single vision to which God is calling us – a vision in which every one of us can be involved – but there are two routes to shaping your giving:
Developing our ministries
- The ministry aspects require funding annually through the church budget, which is funded by our regular giving:
setting up a Christians Against Poverty (CAP) centre
appointing a Social Action Development Worker to help expand our work in helping the needy in Southampton
increasing our youth work staffing up to full time equivalent
expanding our short-term mission trips and growing the number of Sent Mission Partners (SMPs)
We need everyone who thinks of Above Bar Church as their home – ‘my church’ – to prayerfully consider reshaping their giving to be part of this exciting vision.
Refurbishing our building
Refreshing the church building is of equal importance – that’s the second route. The building aspect depends on specially designated giving.
How should we respond?
Pray – with the church for the project, and seeking God’s guidance for how we should respond personally.
Can we increase our regular giving?
Can we give above and beyond that, specifically to the building fund?
Can we offer our time and talents? Speak to someone from the leadership team about this.
See our giving guide for details of how to give financially.
This is not mere fund-raising; this is God calling us to raise our game.