I’m so quick to let heresy come out of my mouth.
The other day on a support appointment I said “We can’t wait to report to our assignment and start doing ministry!” What a shame, that I would further the unfortunate stereotype that to challenge someone to worship with their wallet is somehow different from challenging students to worship with their lives.
Raising support is a ministry. We are seeing God change the hearts of countless folks toward our ministry. Even if folks aren’t able to give, the ministry we have in their life is reminding them that God is bigger than the economy or the news networks. We so greatly appreciate those who would sacrifice and continue to give in such a crazy, uncertain financial world. Your heart is clearly resting in Christ, as evidenced by the clear, consistent placement of your treasure in causes so close to His heart.
I have to continually remind myself that my only duty as a slave of Christ is to follow his bidding. Though my heart beats to reach college students with the gospel, (and I firmly believe that God is passionate about that cause) right now he would have me reach others with the true “prosperity gospel,” that real prosperity comes not from money or worldly security, but from Christ. In calling people to partner with us financially, I am calling them to a radical position where we collectively recognize that God is not about our financial bottom line.
With this particular ministry of challenging folks to financial partnership, I need to be so careful that I don’t totally blow it by my financial lifestyle speaking louder than my words. A tragedy of American Christianity is that pastors and leaders who would claim to be honoring God are falling prey to the same greed and consumerism to which the watching world is enslaved. We need to have a wartime mentality toward our spending and lifestyle. I’d highly recommend all folks (and especially vocational ministers) read the new introduction (link downloads a pdf file) to John Piper’s book “Let the Nations Be Glad,” as it was the stimulus to rocking my world, this morning.
So I repent of my heresy. I am doing ministry when I make phone calls to develop financial partners. Right now, today, I am in full-time ministry.
What about you? In what ways have you allowed heresy to infect your view of God’s call on your life? Comment below.
One Reply to “What if Raising Support IS My Ministry?”
I appreciate your comments here, Ben, on the fact that your first and, perhaps, most significant ministry is engaging others to be part of Kingdom work. That is in itself a significant step for many — and through them others will have the chance for life transformation. It’s truly a paradigm shift for countless missionaries to NOT see support raising as a necessary evil before they do the work to which they’re called. But it’s how we teach and train people in our program at http://raising-support.com.
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