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unfinished... STUDY GUIDE


And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. - Philippians 1:6 2  Springfield UMC


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N E T N O C F O E TABL

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Letter from

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Roger ..........

Our History

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nished?.......

What is Unfi

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ual Journey

Your Spirit

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A Life of Gen

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.... FAQs ............

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Next Steps .. 3  Springfield UMC

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dear sprin

gfield firs

t family,

Welcome to the Unfinish ed initiative firmly belie ! We are all ve that all o on a journe f us as Chri us individu st-followers y in our wal ally and as k with God are unfinish a church. S many years .I ed. God is o me of us hav while others still working e been on are just gett none of us on this disciple ing started are comple ship journe . All of us ar te—we are y for e in differen all unfinishe t places, bu d. Here is the t good news: God isn’t d one with us yet! “He who b egan a goo d work in yo Christ.” Ph u will bring ilippians 1:6 it to comple tion at the day of Jesu Beginning s October 7/8 , I invite yo u to: • Seek G od in praye r. • Partici pate in one of the man exploring w y classes an hat it mean d small gro s to be unfi ups that will • Be pre nished. be sent in wors hip. • Open your heart to where G journey wit od is leadin h Him. g you on yo ur This is your study guide and journal worship an . Plan to bri d to your cl ng it with yo asses or sm and begin all groups. u every we asking God ekend to Prayerfully what your u forward in b re ad n through the fi nished story ecoming a material fully-devote is and how d follower o He wants yo f Jesus. Help us wri u to move te the next chapter of our story. Yours in Gra ce,

Roger

...................................................................................... 5  Springfield UMC

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For nearly 200 years, Springfield First has had a strong history of giving and generosity, with each generation blessing the next.

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.......

1828

A frame church was built at 5th and Monroe.

1830

ch was one chur A new st ew site at 5th an built at Capitol. and

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Services were held in a log schoolhouse.

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............. 1821

A new, larger brick church was built at the same site .

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t Church ed Methodis First Unit Charles a meeting in field. began with g in bin in Spr Matheny's ca

1854

1885


rought revival b . Another e emb rs 400 new m

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1908

................................

1886

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A revival was held with 2,000 conversions and 500 new members.

1948

1950

1940s 7  Springfield UMC

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1977 1954

1960s 1950


...and God isn't finished yet!

.. . 0 0 2

1995

2008

The first worship service was held in the new sanctuary at the west site.

A new contemporary service started in the Community Life Center.

2015

...............

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2006

The Family Life Center opened at the west site.

ch st Chur Methodirs of making d e t i n First U rate 200 yea ist for the r eb will celles of Jesus Ch the world! discip formation of trans

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1992

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1988

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............... 1979

Three worship services were started.

All services were he ld at the west site.

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A new church building opened at the same site.

t ased a purch ll. e r e w es Mi 66 acr h and Koke s a b a W

2021

springfieldfirst.org/give/unfinished  springfieldfirstunfinished.org  9 


what is unfinished? Unfinished is a two-year initiative that focuses on each of us moving closer to Christ and deepening our understanding of generosity. We are all unfinished and are called to grow as children of God and as disciples. As people, as a church, and in our mission work, God continues to work in and through us.

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How will you help us write the next chapter of our story?


how will you respond? Our primary goal through Unfinished is that 100% of people at Springfield First would engage in this initiative to experience a life-changing encounter with God. With your help, we will all be able to grow as children of God and as disciples.

1. PRAY FERVENTLY. Pray that God would multiply our efforts to make disciples. Pray that He would do abundantly more than we ask or imagine for His great name. My prayer for Unfinished is: ___________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

2. COMMIT FULLY. We can’t reach our goal of 100% engagement in Unfinished without you! Commit to being open to God and what He is asking of you. My commitment for Unfinished is: _____________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

3. GROW INTENTIONALLY. Attend worship services each weekend in October and November 4/5. Engage in the Unfinished study with your class or small group. Learn all you can about God’s heart and will for you and your resources. A growth area for me through Unfinished is: ____________________________ ____________________________________________________________________

4. GIVE GENEROUSLY. Ask God to show you what it looks like to give in a way that changes you. Take whatever steps are required to see it through. I can grow in generosity through Unfinished by: _________________________ ____________________________________________________________________ 11  Springfield UMC

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where are you on your spiritual journey with Christ?

EXPLORING CHRIST: These people are seeking and considering what it means to have a relationship with Christ.

GROWING IN CHRIST: After making a decision to follow Jesus, these people are growing in faith.

CLOSE TO CHRIST: These people seek guidance from Christ in their daily activities.

CHRIST-CENTERED: These people live surrendered to Christ, with Him in control of everything they do. We are all on a journey. Sometimes we are moving forward on that journey, and sometimes backward. Regardless of where we are, Jesus is calling us to take the next step into a deeper relationship with Him. Part of growing in our relationship with Christ is taking the next step in our journey of generosity.

13  Springfield UMC

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We fee ls this c uch suppo rt hu how w rch. We fe and conne e con tribu el like we ction in b te ma tters elong, an d . - JER

RY & J

ith that ly of fa i m a g f s i llengin t of th very cha o be par a t g l n u i f r k e du o than and car We are s n prayer i s u d e FAMILY cover ly. DBERG & ur fami N o I r L o N f E e ED tim - TIM &

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ILL H

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FMAN


message notes WEEK 1: OCTOBER 7/8

15  Springfield UMC

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WEEK 1 DEVOTIONS monday

tuesday

Read Romans 12:1

Read Deuteronomy 13:4

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

It is the LORD your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him.

Respond What does it mean to be a “living sacrifice”? How is this an act of worship to God?

Respond Following God is not an accident; it’s a daily decision. How can you “hold fast” to Him today?

wednesday

thursday

Read Psalm 119:112

Read Hebrews 3:1

My heart is set on keeping Your decrees to the very end.

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our Apostle and High Priest.

Respond Is your heart set on following God, no matter what it takes? Where do you waver in that commitment? Ask God for courage and strength to follow Him to the very end.

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Respond It’s so easy to get distracted from following Christ. Think about what distracts you from His call, and ask for His help in fixing your eyes on Him.


friday

saturday/sunday

Read John 15:10

Use this space to write thoughts God brought to mind during these devotions:

If you keep My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. Respond There are so many benefits when we choose to follow Jesus, and one of the biggest is our constant experience of His love. Thank Him for this promise!

for additional study If you feel God nudging you to go deeper, take some time to dig further into His Word. Explore the Bible passages related to this week’s theme on your own and jot your reflections in this study guide. Read Matthew 19:16-24   ∙ How does the rich young ruler’s first question display a consumer mindset?   ∙ How does Jesus’ response reinforce the importance of being a follower?   ∙ Jesus did not tell everyone who wanted to follow Him that they must sell all their   possessions. Why do you think this was His specific instruction to this particular person? Read Galatians 2:20-21   ∙ To what kind of commitment does this passage call us in response?   ∙ What does it mean to be crucified with Christ?   ∙ How do we live by faith in Christ?

17  Springfield UMC

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Read Genesis 22:1-19 The Sacrifice of Isaac

Application: •

In what ways do you think Abraham’s life was unfinished?

After waiting so many years, God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son. How does this make sense? What emotions must Abraham have felt? What would you have felt?

In what ways is it easy to believe that the things God gives us are really ours?

In what ways are you unfinished?

What prevents you from fully surrendering to God and trusting Him?

Takeaway: •

How is God leading you to surrendered trust?

How can you trust and surrender to God more this coming week?

When you consider how Abraham sacrificed, how do you think God might be leading you to give sacrificially? Be specific.

19  Springfield UMC

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Springfi eld First ha together . We build s taught us what it means each othe to magni to do life r up in p fy God's l rayer an ove in ou d kindne r homes a ss nd commu nity. - NATE, T AISIA, & AVERLY C HRISTIN

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ve. nd los a e c an d. He i cept e is aculy soar uilding s u b o r t he d t s n an da has m as st me, Wesley with Goccept hi acle of r i F r d g nship who a fiel ndin he mi ER ring an atte relatiois peers od and t p S OLIV t g g Y E L Wha e we be stron with h , I see G S & WE Sinc loping aendships growth ARTZ H s e ' i B v y r e E e d -D ing f Wesl last hrough us. r T o . is plan f His


message notes WEEK 2: OCTOBER 14/15

21  Springfield UMC

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WEEK 2 DEVOTIONS monday monday

tuesday tuesday

Read Philippians 3:10

Read Romans 10:17

I want to know Christ — yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word about Christ.

Respond How can you know Christ better and become more like Him? Ask the Lord to grow your faith as you journey through this study with your group.

Respond If faith comes by hearing the message, the power of our witness is found in the strength of our faith. What specific steps can you take to grow your faith this week?

wednesday

thursday

Read Proverbs 12:25

Read Philippians 4:6

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Respond Have you ever felt anxiety about sharing your faith? How have you overcome this in your life?

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Respond Do you become anxious when you are asked to be a witness? Pray that God will give you courage to share your God-story - your testimony of His faithfulness.


friday

saturday/sunday

Read Deuteronomy 31:8

Use this space to write thoughts God brought to mind during these devotions:

The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Respond When you are tempted to become anxious regarding what God is calling you to do, remember this verse and be thankful that He is always with you.

for additional study If you feel God nudging you to go deeper, take some time to dig further into His Word. Explore the Bible passages related to this week’s theme on your own and jot your reflections in this study guide. Read 1 Peter 3:15   ∙ What is the best way to prepare to witness for Christ?   ∙ What are some verses that might be helpful in “giving the reason for the hope you have”?   ∙ Is the hope you have in Christ obvious to others in your sphere of influence? If not, what   could you do to change that? Read Matthew 6:33   ∙ How can we “seek first His kingdom and righteousness”?   ∙ What did Jesus mean by “all these things”? (Hint: refer to verses 25-32.)   ∙ Being a witness for Jesus requires a willingness to die to ourselves. What are some practical steps you could take to die to yourself?

23  Springfield UMC

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Read 2 Samuel 24:18-25 David Builds an Altar

Application: •

In what ways was David unfinished? What is surprising or encouraging about David’s life?

What prompted David’s sacrifice in 2 Samuel 24?

What is unique about David’s sacrifice? Why does David’s sacrifice please God?

Read Mark 12:41-44

Read Luke 18:18-30

The Widow’s Offering

The Rich Young Ruler

Application: •

What is different about the widow’s heart and the rich young ruler’s heart?

If God blesses and uses costly sacrifices, what is He asking you to sacrifice?

What does it mean to trust God with 100% of what He’s entrusted to you?

Takeaway: •

What does it mean for you that God desires for us to give in a way that challenges us?

What would be a costly sacrifice for you and why?

If you were to list the reasons why you give financially, what would these reasons be? Has your view of why you give changed over the years?

How can making a long-term commitment to Unfinished demonstrate an appropriate next step in fully honoring God with the resources entrusted to you?

25  Springfield UMC

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di at Go I of wh t r INSK a e a p First. P YAS b I R o t & Z a joy field NTEN It is h Spring H QUI S I g R u T thro

Springfield Fi rst is anothe r family to me so many ways . I have grown in the last fo in ur years that myself. This I hardly reco church celebr gnize ates the good supports me th with me and rough the bad, and all the ti as a person an me helps me gr d always clos ow er to God. - SUSAN STITT WITH DAUGHTER QUINN

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This c h Chris urch means t's ar ms rea the world t commu o us­ching nity, it ou in those who do cluding th t to everyo embodies ne in n't kn ose wh the ow the o y need are saved and Jesus - BRAD & ERI ... yet. N PAR IS & F AMILY


message notes WEEK 3: OCTOBER 21/22

27  Springfield UMC

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WEEK 3 DEVOTIONS monday monday

tuesday tuesday

Read John 17:20-21

Read Philippians 4:6-7

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Respond

Respond

How does it feel to know that Jesus was/ is praying for you specifically?

Have you ever felt peace in the midst of a trial? If so, praise God! If not, what change can you bring to your prayer habits in order to feel that peace?

wednesday

thursday

Read John 6:6

Read 2 Chronicles 7:14

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Respond Where is your special place where you can pray and be alone with God?

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Respond Is there anything in your life right now that is hindering your prayers?


friday

saturday/sunday

Read Ephesians 3:20-21

Use this space to write thoughts God brought to mind during these devotions:

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Respond Use this verse as a prayer. Give thanks to the Lord for what He is doing, and what He is going to do, in and through the lives of those in our church.

for additional study If you feel God nudging you to go deeper, take some time to dig further into His Word. Explore the Bible passages related to this week’s theme on your own and jot your reflections in this study guide. Read Matthew 6:9-13   ∙ The Lord’s Prayer is an outline for our prayers. How can you incorporate the major points   into your own prayers on a daily basis?   ∙ Are your prayers more of a reflection of who you are or who God is? How so?   ∙ If your prayers have become ritualistic, be intentional about rejuvenating them by reading   the Word and praying Scripture, just as Jesus did. Read James 5:13-16   ∙ When does this Scripture tell us to pray?   ∙ How does faith play a part in our prayers?   ∙ How can we make our prayers more powerful?

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Read Acts 9:1-18 The Conversion of Saul

Application: •

In what ways was Saul unfinished before meeting Jesus? What were Saul’s priorities?

What changed for Paul when he met Jesus?

How is Paul becoming filled with Christ’s humility?

Read Acts 20:17-33 Farewell letter to Ephesian Elders

Application: •

In these verses late in Paul’s life, how is he living more for heaven than earth? How does Paul describe his priorities?

How is Paul’s generosity more about God and others and less about himself?

How does Paul describe giving and receiving (verses 32–35)?

Takeaway: •

Is your giving and generosity governed more by heaven or earth? How can you tell?

Is your spending controlled more by giving or saving?

Thus far in your life, on what have you spent the most financial resources?

31  Springfield UMC

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where me. It's as r o f g n ng w eani great m somethi with t holds ey when I felt s ct r e i n F n d iel to co urn ng. Springf itual jo ere I was able 's sudden passi r i p s y h m r w n e a h 's t t g o e I Ib ym fe. T in my li me heal after m ND SCOT missing d e p l e & HUSBA h R o E h L w W s O INA F other - KRIST

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message notes WEEK 4: OCTOBER 28/29

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WEEK 4 DEVOTIONS monday monday

tuesday tuesday

Read Matthew 9:20-22

Read Matthew 17:20

Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” He said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

Respond Throughout the New Testament, Jesus repeatedly said, “Your faith has healed you.” How big is your faith?

Respond Have you ever felt that you were asking God for an impossible request? Pray believing that God will answer the deepest cries of your heart.

thursday wednesday Read Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. Respond Has God ever called you to do something or go somewhere without knowing the end result? How did you respond?

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Read Matthew 21:21-22 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Respond Jesus tells us we should have faith. The size of our faith is directly connected to our capacity to live generously. How will you respond to Jesus’ request?


friday

saturday/sunday

Read Proverbs 3:5-6

Use this space to write thoughts God brought to mind during these devotions:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. Respond How could you demonstrate your trust in the Lord? Are you willing for Him to be Lord over every part of your life?

for additional study If you feel God nudging you to go deeper, take some time to dig further into His Word. Explore the Bible passages related to this week’s theme on your own and jot your reflections in this study guide. Read Hebrews 12:1-2   ∙ As believers, we run the race of faith in Jesus Christ. To whom is the writer referring as “the great cloud of witnesses” that surrounds us?   ∙ How can we throw off everything that hinders us in this race? How does this hindrance   prevent us from surrendering to Christ?   ∙ What does it mean to “fix our eyes on Jesus”? Read Hebrews 11   ∙ This chapter of Hebrews is often referred to as the “Hall of Faith.” Which of these Bible   characters do you feel you are most like? Why?   ∙ What specific steps could you take to strengthen your faith? Ask the Lord to give you   strength and courage.   ∙ In what specific ways has your faith been challenged in the last year? How has it grown as a result of those challenges?

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Read John 6:1-14 Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

Application: •

What did the disciples see as the problem? What did the disciples see as the solution?

How do you think the disciples and crowd viewed Jesus differently in the end?

Is your trust and heart more like that of the disciples or the little boy?

Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-14 The Cheerful Giver

Application: •

What do you think is the difference between “sparingly” and “generously”? (verse 6)

What does Paul describe as important about a generous heart? How does Paul describe the result? (verses 7–8 & 10–14)

Paul says that we are given resources by God so that we can be generous on every occasion. So answer honestly: Are you deserving of more resources? (verse 11)

Takeaway: •

When you think of someone who has left a legacy of generosity, who is that person? Describe them.

What are you holding onto that God wants you to give?

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making an unfinished commitment EXERCISE AND REFLECTION TO DO AT HOME PRIOR TO COMMITMENT WEEKEND 1. List out the financial commitments that you currently have—those that go beyond a one-

time payment but have a time duration to them. Examples would be a home mortgage, a lease agreement, a car loan, a cell phone contract, tuition for school, etc.

2. Now, write out the commitment you are planning to make for Unfinished. Where does it fall

in the priority of these other commitments? Do you need to change or modify one or more of these other commitments in order to be able to fulfill your Unfinished commitment? What if you wanted to raise your Unfinished commitment? What would that require? Is there a financial commitment you currently have that appears to be prioritized above your ability to help move God’s mission of helping people?

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3. If someone who didn’t know you looked at your financial commitments, what would they say that you value?

4. Would that statement be true about you? Or, is there something that needs to be explained or modified?

5. If you keep this commitment over the next two years, what type of spiritual transformation will that cause in you?

6. How will you leverage this change to influence others such as your children, your family, your friends, your co-workers, or others in your circles of influence?

Pray over your commitment as you prepare to lay your card at the altar on Commitment Weekend, November 4 & 5. Prayer is the most important thing in this whole process, and prayer is what gives us the bold heart of Christ within us. Let’s be people who boldly surrender themselves to God in every area of their lives. Let’s all declare, “I am unfinished!”

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message notes WEEK 5: NOVEMBER 4/5 - COMMITMENT WEEKEND

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WEEK 5 DEVOTIONS monday monday

tuesday tuesday

Read Hebrews 10:23-25

Read 1 John 2:1-2

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day of Christ approaching.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

Respond

Respond

What practical steps will you take this week to encourage someone in your family or group to show love and share good deeds?

Jesus is our atoning sacrifice. No one born before or since could save us from our sins. How can you express your thanks and praise to Him for this amazing gift?

wednesday

thursday

Read Psalm 50:14-15

Read Proverbs 3:27

Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor Me.

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.

Respond What are some ways we can sacrifice thank offerings to God and honor Him?

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Respond How can we fulfill this command from the Lord with those in our community?


friday

saturday/sunday

Read 1 John 4:10

Use this space to write thoughts God brought to mind during these devotions:

This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Respond Thank God for the love He shows us daily. How can you share this love with others in a tangible way?

for additional study If you feel God nudging you to go deeper, take some time to dig further into His Word. Explore the Bible passages related to this week’s theme on your own and jot your reflections in this study guide. Read Matthew 6:19-21   ∙ What are some earthly treasures you have stored up?   ∙ How do these treasures interfere with your ability to give generously to God?   ∙ Where do you spend your time, energy, and money? According to this Scripture, your   response is where your treasure is, as well as your heart. Take a moment to examine your   mind and heart. What do you feel God may be asking of you? Read Hebrews 13:15-16   ∙ How can we continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God?   ∙ What does it look like to do good and share with others?   ∙ What does the Scripture mean by doing this “through Jesus”?

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work in


Read Luke 15:3-7 The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Read Luke 15:8-10 The Parable of the Lost Coin

Read Luke 11:11-24 The Parable of the Lost Son

Application: •

What do these three parables tell you about God’s priorities?

Which of the people or objects in the parables does God INTEND for your life to be like? How does this reflect God’s highest goal for your life?

What distracts you from aligning your life and priorities with God’s highest priorities?

Takeaway: •

How can people tell what your highest priority is?

What is the one thing you could do this week to better align your priorities to God’s highest priority for your life?

Where does giving fall on your priority scale?

When it comes to resources, money always points toward what is important. How would a change in your giving change you? How would it change your church?

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primary goal: 100% ENGAGEMENT Unfinished is first and foremost a discipleship initiative. We are all unfinished. We all need to grow as children of God and as disciples. No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, there is a next step God is asking you to take in your relationship with Him. We want every person at Springfield First to be willing to take the next step of growth in the area of generosity.

secondary goal: $6.5 MILLION IN 2 YEARS God continues to work in and through us in each of these areas: •

Unfinished People

Unfinished Church

Unfinished Mission

If 100% of people at Springfield First are fully engaged, we will see an increase in generosity like we have never seen before.

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one fund

Fund” or rst “Building Fi ld fie g rin Sp much ributed to the doing things nt e ar co e ve w ha e, iv ay at iti um Unfinished in ngle fund – a In the past, yo urch in one si nd.” With our ch Fu e g r the th in at to er g p in the “O Jesus Christ fo total giv f o te s ra le b p le ci ce is d ill ake ing this ew differently. W mission – to m gfield First dur rin ne o Sp n o to l al en e iv g e ar so every gift udes: One Fund! W e world. And fund that incl th f le o ng n si io a at to rm in transfo e will go ity to grow in nished initiativ two-year Unfi lp our commun he at ministry, th s se ing expen and our music at g er in p m o m – ra le g p pro Peo ren and teen • Unfinished panded child ex h ug ro th , faith o into the gs , so we can g in g th in er ld ui th b o ur ng o f amo wn the debt o h – paying do rc hu C ed sh • Unfini und the world s debt-free gfield and aro rin Sp in next 200 year le p ing more peo g Mission – serv ist and makin ionally in Chr nt • Unfinished te in g in liv is focused on f the One Fund o t ec p as ry Eve One Fund disciples. n see how the ca and growing u yo so e e ag on the next p called to pursu itment card is you are being m w m ho co d o le p G k m A sa u to as story. s. We invite yo chapter of our xt ne e initiative work th e rit d help us w generosity an

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SAMPLE COMMITMENT CARD: This sample can be used as a worksheet as you consider your commitment to Unfinished.

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a life of generosity These stages focus on behaviors and attitudes of our hearts – our discipleship – rather than on amounts or percentages. Each step represents growth in a lifestyle of generosity and sacrifice that transforms us into the likeness of Christ who gave up everything for us. Where are you now, and where is God calling you to be?

CONSISTENT GIVER INITIAL GIVER An Initial Giver is someone who decides to give for the first time, out of a response to God’s Word about giving. This is a significant step in faith toward God, as this person decides to give something and trust God and the leaders of the church with this gift.

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A Consistent Giver is someone who commits to give something on a regular basis. Consistent Givers start to think of their giving in the same way they think about other budget expenses that are always paid, regardless of seasons of plenty or want. Often, they set up an online recurring gift to help them learn the behavior of consistency. Non-online givers can be consistent givers as well of course; it just requires more discipline.


LIFETIME GIVER A Lifetime Giver is someone who thinks about the long-term effects of generosity rather than monthto-month generosity or even year-to-year. They think of what home they buy, what car they purchase, or how much savings they choose to keep, all in relation to their generosity capacity. A Lifetime Giver might be someone who has a giving goal which governs their large buying decisions. Much like a Surrendered Giver makes a commitment that will govern monthly and annual decisions, a Lifetime Giver makes a lifetime or longer-term commitment that governs larger-item purchases like homes, cars, and investments.

INTENTIONAL GIVER Intentional Givers begin to think about giving in relation to other things on which they spend their money. For example, this type of giver begins asking the question, “Why am I giving more to my phone provider than I am giving to God?” They consider a percentage or amount they want to commit in order to consciously grow in generosity. This may be the point at which someone begins to tithe, reflecting intentionality about a certain amount or percentage they want to give to God.

SURRENDERED GIVER Surrendered Givers recognize the cost Christ paid on the cross for us; they are surrendered to honoring God with 100% of their resources as a result. They give in a way that changes them. Their giving governs their spending/saving rather than their spending/saving governing their giving. Surrendered Givers aren’t concerned with what they ARE giving; they are more concerned with what they are NOT giving and why. They seek to honor God with everything He has given them, whether direct monetary giving or a God-honoring use of an existing resource like a home or a vehicle.

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giving scenarios Each of us embarks on the generosity journey at a different starting point. Here are a few hypothetical situations that may be similar to the one in which you find yourself. Each example below illustrates how an individual or family can take the next step on the generosity journey, and how the commitment card could be completed accordingly.

INITIAL GIVER Michael is new to the faith and has never given before. He is now starting several spiritual disciplines, including generosity. It’s a huge step of faith for him, but Michael has decided to give $25 per week. Combined with $500 from his savings, Michael plans to give a total two-year contribution of $3,100 to the Unfinished initiative.

0 1,300 1,300

2,600 500

3,100 CONSISTENT GIVER Jennifer has witnessed changes in her own life through the ministry of the church. So far, she has been giving casually, if she has extra cash on hand during offering time. However, she now feels led to become more consistent in her giving by setting up a recurring gift online. Her plan is to increase her usual annual giving of $500 by $1,250, bringing her to $1,750 a year. With the addition of $500 from a vacation savings fund, in two years she will have given $4,000 to the Unfinished initiative. 54  Springfield First

500 1,250 1,750

3,500 500

4,000


INTENTIONAL GIVER 6,000 6,000 12,000

24,000 2,000

26,000

Paul and Rebecca have given consistently to the church at a steady 5%. With a combined income of $120,000, they contribute $6,000 each year. Unfinished, however, has prompted them to tithe a full 10%. It will require some adjustments to give $12,000 a year, but they know it’s what God is calling them to do. Also, they’ve been saving for a boat but have decided to give the $2,000 in that account as well. They are now planning to give $26,000 to the church over the next two years.

SURRENDERED GIVER 7,000 1,400 8,400

16,800 2,000

18,800

Anthony developed the discipline of tithing years ago, and he has experienced God’s provision again and again. Anthony will increase his giving percentage from 10% to 12% of his annual income of $70,000, or $8,400 a year. Over two years, with the addition of $2,000 from the transfer of stocks that are no longer of interest to him, Anthony looks forward to giving $18,800 to the Unfinished initiative.

LIFETIME GIVER 13,500 1,500 15,000

30,000 60,000

90,000 55  Springfield UMC

Judy loves to give of her time, talents, and resources. She has set a lifetime giving goal for herself, and is excited to reach it. She has been giving 15% of her $90,000 income ($13,500) to the church in recent years, but is inspired to increase the annual amount to $15,000. She has been considering the purchase of a new home recently, but she realizes that purchase may inhibit her ability to reach her giving goal. So Judy has decided not to move, and to give her down payment toward the Unfinished initiative instead. springfieldfirst.org/give/unfinished  55 


FAQs What are you asking me to do?

Why did we choose a One Fund initiative?

First and foremost, we are asking that you pray and seek God’s direction. Prepare your heart to hear Him and then listen to what He says. Take your next step. Engage in personal reflection with God in this study guide. Talk with your spouse, your family, or others about what this commitment will mean for this next exciting season of your life.

One Fund is a generosity initiative in which all giving will go into the general budget and be used to expand the impact of our church, instead of part of giving being allocated specifically to a special building fund. This approach is so much bigger than a building: it includes the expansion of our local and global ministries. The One Fund also creates an opportunity for individuals and families new to Springfield First to join in the amazing work God is doing at any time, even past the end of the initiative.

We are asking that you make a sacrificial commitment to gospel-centered generosity—whatever it is that God leads you to do. Finally, we ask that you prepare to be amazed. We serve an awesome God and He is going to move in huge ways. We anticipate an unprecedented impact from our collective Unfinished commitments—something only God can do. Please mark your calendar for Commitment Weekend, November 4 & 5, and prepare to experience a lifechanging worship service that will forever be remembered as a defining moment for our church and our own faith.

Why $6.5 million? After prayer, process, and seeking counsel, we are responding to the direction we believe God is leading. We came to a number that merges our existing reality with our future reality. $6.5 million reflects everything Springfield First will do over the next 24 months. How long is my commitment?

How is Unfinished different from previous generosity initiatives? We are more focused on everyone at Springfield First seeing their giving as an integral part of the discipleship process and then being challenged by God to take a next step. The bulk of this study guide is focused on helping us dig into some key Biblical principles that guide us in this area as we follow Jesus. This is our first priority—100% participation in the process. We want everyone to grow closer to God during Unfinished. Even if someone wrote us a check today for our secondary goal of $6.5 million, we would still do this initiative. Whether we are new to the church or Christ-centered in our relationship with God, and whether we’re just starting in our giving journey or we’re very committed givers, we all have a next step to take and room to grow in this area.

We are asking that everyone make a two-year (24-month) commitment. The fulfillment period for your commitment will begin in December of 2017 and will culminate in November of 2019. What if I have not fulfilled my pledge to Generosity 2017? Previous pledges went from January to December each year, but Unfinished starts in December 2017. If you have not completed your pledge for Generosity 2017, add the remaining amount to your pledge for Unfinished when you fill out your commitment card. What if I have never even given to Springfield First before? Unfinished was crafted specifically with you in mind. Unfinished is a One Fund generosity initiative. It is different

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from a traditional capital campaign where you are called to give an extra gift above and beyond your normal giving, thus creating two steps for people who aren’t yet giving. Unfinished is a call to sacrificial generosity for absolutely everyone at Springfield First. If you have never given before, this is your chance to start with a committed sacrifice. We really hope you will. What if I am new here? Unfinished is about the vision for our church and our personal discipleship in giving as followers of Jesus. We believe that the local church is one of the most compelling missions because of the local and global opportunities supplied by a large group of people and because it changes hearts. We would love for you to make Springfield First your home and join us in our mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” What if I am severely in debt right now? Am I still supposed to give? If you are someone currently seeking to make payments to pay off debt right now, we commend you for making progress on that. And you should continue to do so. Being in debt does not, however, make someone “excused” from giving. Giving isn’t about what God wants from you; rather, it’s about what God wants for you. It should be our joy and privilege to give at all times. How can families participate? Unfinished will be a great and unique opportunity for your children to experience generosity. We will include them on this journey in our pre-K through high school curriculum where they may want to fill out their own commitment card. What are other ways I can support the Unfinished initiative? Unfinished is about more than finances and funding special

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initiatives. That’s what makes it different from a traditional capital campaign. We want all our hearts to be transformed by God to create a culture of generosity. Ask God to show you the things you are holding onto instead of releasing to Him. Pray about how you can be closer to God. Maybe God is asking you to serve Him or His church in a special way. Seek His kingdom and His righteousness, and you can trust God to lead you! Can I give non-cash gifts? Be creative as you explore ways you and your family can give toward Unfinished. You might have some stocks, property, or other items of that nature. Or you may have stored resources that God has blessed you with in the past that He just might be calling you to give during this time. Will I have the ability to designate my generosity to a specific part of the initiative? We will continue to honor the wishes of those who choose to designate a gift; however, all giving to Unfinished will be undesignated. The One Fund concept is designed to reduce the need for designation, as our total giving comprises a single ministry fund from which we will finance all of our existing ministries, the building fund, and missions. How will my “little bit” help? I don’t think my gift will make a difference. Unfinished is much less about reaching a financial goal, and much more about discipleship. It’s about each one of us seeking God’s will as it relates to our personal journey of generosity. The truth is, the church can only fulfill God’s vision most effectively when everyone is all in with their time, talent, and treasure. A gift chart is available for suggested ways to meet our goal. It is helpful for you to see how gifts at all levels make a difference! No matter how much you can give, one truth is certain: we realize what God can do in our lives when we step out in faith and become generous.

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next steps Mark your calendar and plan to attend three important dates on our generosity journey:

ce t n n a e v v e d a t n e m t i commR 22 E OCTOB

. nce d adva 2, at 6:30pm n a e ic 2 v r r e e s n b orship y, Octo d celebratio ost a w t on Sunda h r an l il w n We f praye ir Unfinished eve o t n e e im m e it lt early. comm be a specia to lead in th ments l e it il ir m w s e m is co Th od ose wh rning in their d with th u t tant an se by impor ost defining respon is h t ed to he m lly invit be one of t a n o s r ay it e pe You ar ble night. M ual journey. a r ir o r sp it mem in you s t n e mom

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Wear your

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... 2941 S. KOKE MILL ROAD SPRINGFIELD WWW.SPRINGFIELDFIRST.ORG 793.9760

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Unfinished... Study Guide