Money. Money. Money.

I am intrigued by how many people allow their thinking to be limited to the cliches and talking points of the organization to which they belong.

Whenever there is a discussion about languishing church growth efforts in Western countries, the answer almost always offered seems to be that people "just aren't spiritual" enough. I am about sick of that explanation. Let us be clear. Spirituality is indeed an essential part of the equation, but it is not the entire explanation.

If one is to bake a traditional pound cake, one must have butter. It is a sine qua non ingredient of a pound cake. No butter, no pound cake. But it is not the ONLY thing needed to bake a pound cake. One must also have flour and a sweetener (and some flavoring and a rising agent, etc.).

Our explanations about a lack of spirituality without a discussion about other elements will prove to be as useless as arguing that pound cakes can be baked with butter alone.

The Bible says, "Come, let us reason." And Jesus said that we should worship Him with all our heart, our MIND, our soul, our strength."

I came upon this quote in a book entitled Counsels on Stewardship. The book is a compilation of thoughts by the late Ellen White written in articles and publications during her lifetime on the topics of benevolence to the poor as well as financial support of the Gospel ministry. One quote of particular interest to me is found in chapter 7 on page 35: "God’s people are called to a work that requires money and consecration."

Did you see what I saw? She said that the work requires not one, but two things: MONEY and CONSECRATION. If I listened to some people, they would have me believe that consecration is all we need. But this author put MONEY before CONSECRATION. I will not make too much of the order except to say that MONEY is a significant and essential component of what the work of sharing the gospel requires.

Nearly one third of the statements of Jesus were about money. Friend, the work requires money. I repeat, the work requires money. Money. Not just at the General Conference level. Money. Not just at the Division level. Money. Not just at the Union level. Money. Not just at the conference level. People are baptized into local congregations. The Gospel is shared in churches (with the exception of Campmeetings and periodic sessions). Tip O'Neil said "All politics is local." I would adapt that phrase to suggest that "all ministry is local."

Now, don't go run and hide because you refuse to face the difficult truth staring you in the face. No! No! Come, let us reason. How do we get the money needed for the work that God's people are called to do?


Popular Posts