On Championships and Capital Campaigns

Louisville Cardinals Win National Championship 2013Last night’s National Championship game got me thinking about our Building Love capital campaign. (I suppose it was only a matter of time before ministers in Louisville began theologizing about last night’s game, right? It was just so epic, I can’t help myself!)

Our politics and our culture strive valiantly to shape us into a collective of individuals, focused solely on our own performances and advantages. We aren’t often given many opportunities to take off the ‘me’ hat and sub in the ‘we’ one to carry our load as one of a team. And for those of us at Highland who aren’t the immediate and obvious ‘beneficiaries’ of these proposed renovations, it can be intoxicating to question, “well, if it’s not benefitting me, then why should I give?”

100 years ago, a faithful people at the corner of Grinstead and Cherokee set out to build love in the form of a new sanctuary to house their growing congregation. Those saints of our cloud of witness pledged a game-changing $16,000 (more than double their annual budget, no less!) to step boldly as a team into a new era of their church’s life. 1916 photo of current sanctuary

We find ourselves at a similar position today. People are showing up. A spirit of inclusivity and excitement about this work of love spills forth from our walls. God’s dream for our congregation is alive and well. You are living it out! After years of prayer, discussion, discernment, investigation, and vision, our church’s best efforts have concluded that now is the moment for investing in our physical presence in Louisville in ways we haven’t done for generations. Now is the moment to live it out as a team.

We’re not all a Luke Hancock.  Many of us aren’t able to bolster our fundraising efforts with the financial equivalent of five 3-pointers!  As Josh and I have considered our contribution to the Building Love campaign, we are, like I’m sure many of you, easily and reasonably conflicted by what feels like an unending, unyielding list of financial needs facing our family. A career change for Josh, student loan payments, daycare costs, a mortgage, replacing an unreliable car (and the list goes on!) all weigh heavily in the balance between our monthly budget and our financial commitment to Highland.

Building Love - Cap Campaign LogoBut we’re going to give what we can. Our contribution may feel more like Siva’s workhorse assists than Hancock’s commanding 3-pointers or that fabulous Harrell alley-oop. Even still, we will give because we want to be team players. We will give because we believe in Highland. And we believe in God made flesh in Jesus because we witness it in our team, our “intriguing, inviting, inclusive community” all the time.

And this is the Love upon which we all will build, one individual, one brick (and one basket) at a time.