I recently received a call from a friend about our church donating to a cause he felt strongly about. It was a great idea that could help a bunch of people and I was greatly moved by hearing the plan. The only problem was that Compass Point had already given to an organization that would be helping the same people. I explained this to him. He began the sales pitch again and pointed out that we could still donate to his cause as well as the other one. I tried explaining that not only did our church make a financial commitment to the other organization…we also made a commitment to help fund a school/church plant in a poverty stricken country and we still had to finance our own efforts to reach Polk County for Christ. His response…”you just don’t care”.
Since January 1, 2011 there have been devastating earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan. Tidal waves have struck throughout Asia. There have been destructive tornadoes in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. We are barely in the second quarter of the year and several major catastrophes have occurred that need the attention, support…and funding of the Church. The truth is…there will always be a major natural distaster that will need the help of God’s people. The only problem…not every church can help in every situation. The reason…because of prior financial commitments.
On April 11, 2004 Compass Point Church launched in Lakeland, Florida with a commitment to reach our county for Christ. With that commitment came the responsibility to be able to fund the vision. Four years ago we made a commitment to financially give to our denomination through our local association. Not only does our association plant new churches in local rural communities…they have a natural disaster response team, help fund church planting in North Dakota and finance mission trips to Cuba. Last year we made the decision to help a Haitian church planter launch a church and school in Haiti. We knew from research, prayer and Godly counsel that it would be 10 to 15 year financial commitment. A few months ago we agreed to help support a small crisis pregnancy center here in Lakeland.
It is not that Compass Point…and it’s pastors…does not care…it is that we take our financial commitments very seriously. We make no “spur of the moment” decisions or utilize an emotional wave to drive our funding choices. Every distaster leaves victims…and the pictures, video and stories of those victims leave us with heavy hearts. However, we also cannot fund every request we get…whether it’s a good cause…whether it comes friends or people we’ve never met. We also know that we’ve made previous financial commitments that require us to follow through. It is not that we don’t care…it that we do…about what we’ve already committed to.