What is First in Your Life? The Lenker Family

Nov 21, 2018

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Growing up in the church, April was very accustomed to being involved—attending on Sundays and Wednesdays, even serving. But when she came to The Summit Church, her understanding of the “why” behind it changed.

“When I came to Summit and understood the gospel more, I became much more aware of the radical nature of sacrifice,” she said. “Just understanding the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on the cross and how that plays into day-to-day life, particularly with giving.”

During a recent meeting, her husband, Jonathan, the campus pastor at Brier Creek, remembers Pastor J.D. challenging the staff. “He said, 'Is Jesus really first in your life, or is he one among many?'”

Jonathan and April were convicted. “When you look at a budget, you quite literally are assigning value to the things in your life,” Jonathan said. “We did that and our giving was the second thing on our budget line item. Our mortgage was first. Even the language used, our mortgage was first.”

It’s one thing to give, even extravagantly, but what do you do when you feel that God is asking for your savings, too?

“It’s not like I’m just wanting to spend more money,” April remembers. “I actually am saving it for a good cause, or to use it wisely. But I think really what that reveals is a lack of trust in the Lord, that He is going to provide if things come up.”

They began to ask questions, trying to figure out what that type of sacrifice would mean for their family. “As we sit down and look at that, it would be a jump that would change a lot of other things about our lives,” Jonathan said. “And to be really honest, we don’t know what we’re going to do about that.”

No matter where it leads, they know that God will take care of them.

“I think that’s what we have definitely seen over the past years as we’ve increased our giving,” April said. “Our heart attitude towards the Lord and trusting him has always followed and that’s never not happened. The more that we give, the more that we have trusted him, and the more our trust in him has grown. That has always happened.”

Jonathan knows that the only thing that matters is their obedience. “I think the important thing for us is we already determined that where the Holy Spirit leads, we’re going to go,” he said. “We would rather follow the Holy Spirit into a realm of unknown than stay in our safe comfortable lives apart from his leadership.”

Written by John Choquette, volunteer writer.

The Summit offers Financial Peace University, Dave Ramsey’s foundational course that will help you take control of your finances. See upcoming classes here.

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