03 December 2008

When Money Isn't the Most Important Thing

After Charge Conference last night I needed the morning off - so I took it. When I got back to the office and began to sort through a stack of mail and file through a bunch of emails, one email in particular caught my attention.

It was from my Music Director and it was a link to this story about personal accounting and asking the question: "Who's in charge of my future: my God or my money?"

The author, Shannon Vowell, made some very thought-provoking statements and I wanted to share my thoughts on some of them here.

Are we depending on our money to give us our sense of safety or are we keeping our eyes on Christ? In today’s financial climate, do we instinctively hold so tightly to whatever assets we’ve got left that we assure we cannot take hold of the outstretched hands of Jesus?

In light of the conversations around money last night I wonder if this is a question that more people need to wrestle to the ground before speaking about how much they trust God. If we depend on our money to be our security for the future, then I believe we have missed the point of faith altogether. If we fail to trust God with our future in the midst of economic uncertainties, when will we trust God? If we hold tight to that which we can see and bypass that which we cannot, are we not then idolizing money and ignoring God? Indeed, there is no room for Jesus' hands when we are tightly grasping our net worth instead of our Great Provider.

Jesus’ words to the rich young ruler [in Luke 18:22-25] suggest that for Christians, the real issue isn’t money even when it’s money that we’re talking about. The real issue is faith and focus.

When the church budget is tabulated, the members of the Finance Committee are responsible for making sure there is a way to fund that budget - either through tithes and offerings, rentals and fees, or non-donor sources - so the tendency is to begin to think about dollars and cents instead of ministry and mission. When it comes down to the bottom line, there needs to be money to fund ministries in the church, but the money is not really the crucial issue. I believe that when the God-appointed leaders of a church search God's wisdom for the direction of the church and compellingly cast that vision to the whole congregation, then the resources will follow. I believe that when God's people get on board with what God is doing in a local church, the blessings are endless and the money shows up in buckets.


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