This time last year Anna and I were still landing on exactly what our commitment to For His Name would be. Now if you are newer to Mercy Hill, by the end of 2014 our church was simply out of room. God was continuing to send us new people but there was just no room for them. In short, For His Name was our response. Through raising money outside of our operations budget we came together to complete a few steps towards expanding our reach in the Triad. These steps were completed by people giving what they could as 2014 came to an end and then committing to something beyond their normal giving for the year of 2015.
For Anna and I making our commitment wasn’t easy because of the uncertainty that we knew was coming in 2015. First, our third child was to be born in January which is in itself unsettling. The financial costs of adding another child to the mix are substantial, but more than that, they are just hard to project. The second thing is that by the end of 2014 we were already convinced that a move was coming in the near future. Thirdly, by the time For His name kicked off we were about 2 months into what it looked like to be a one income family. For our entire marriage Anna worked as a teacher outside the home but as the 2014 school year approached we believed it was time to make the transition so that Anna could be home with our kids. So with the baby coming, a potential move looming, and two incomes going down to one, For His Name was a bit scary.
But no matter how we sliced it, we kept coming back to one giant truth. God has already given us everything in the Gospel therefore we can and should live with open hands. The goal of our family is that we would be a family that says yes to God. We want to be a family that says, “God we will do whatever You say do and go wherever You say go.” That is what it means to live in response to God’s love for us. That is what it means to live as a “living sacrifice.” Now, will we do that perfectly? Never! But trying to live with open hands in all areas of life certainly encompasses our finances. And that is what informed the commitment we made.
For His Name wraps up at the end of 2015. But as it does we have an opportunity to finish strong and in so doing to launch a second Mercy Hill location in central GSO in 2016. So as we come to the end of this year, I know that many of us may be tempted to say, “with not knowing what is coming in 2016, I just can’t give right now.” I understand that and I have been there with more things in life than just For His Name. But I would push back with this, you may not know what is coming in 2016 but God does. And if He calls you to give towards this campus now He is doing so with full knowledge of what is coming then. We can trust Him church.
-Andrew Hopper (Lead Pastor)