Ministry requires a lot of things. Being a part of several church plants, I know this all too well. It requires people, programs, facilities. All of these things require money. Unfortunately, the word “money” to some people is about the same as dropping the “f-bomb”.
If talking about money and resources offends you, you’re not thinking biblically, according to James MacDonald. This is how he begins his talk on Resourcing for Jesus from R12 Day Two.
He explains that there are two opposing views on money in the church:
1. Prosperity theology
The view on money can be summed up like this:
God’s promises + blessing + proof of favor = pursue it.
God promises to prosper you, blesses your life, which proves you are in his favor (or you’re right with him), therefore you should pursue wealth and prosperity.
This is wrong.
2. Poverty theology
This view on money can be summed up like this:
God warns + curse + proof of compromise = renounce it
God warns about money, he curses those who have large amounts of it, when you have large amounts of it you’ve compromised, therefore you need to renounce money and have nothing to do with it.
This is also wrong.
The biblical view of money
Gain it honestly, give it generously, multiply it faithfully, use it effectively and enjoy it carefully.
It’s not wrong to have, but it’s wrong when things have you. God wants your focus to always be on him.
God needs only what we have
God has already given you everything he’s asking of you. Think about the story of the fish and loaves. Here’s how it played out:
- The disciples tell Jesus that the people are hungry. His response is, “Ask them if they have any food.”
- They survey 5,000 people and discover that out of the entire crowd all they have is 5 loaves and 2 fish. This was not a successful campaign for the disciples.
- Jesus took what they already had, and did something amazing with it. It was far beyond what the disciples would have imagined.
Another great example is found in 2 Kings 4 in the story of Elisha and the Widows oil. I suggest you take a moment to read it.
We all face times of desperate need. We all experience mountains, valleys, and times of lack. God only needs what he has already given us.
You should always be asking yourself, “Does everything I own belong to God?”
God fills only what we offer
God keeps giving himself into that which we keep bringing to him. If we’re too busy trying to do things in our own strength, without taking it before God, how can he have room to do something powerful?
It hurts to hold up empty places– areas in which we feel are insufficient. That’s a hard place to live, but that’s right where God wants us. In that place ask these questions,
- What do I have that I could bring?
- What can I do that I have not done?
You already have everything you need to do all that God has asked of you.