Have you ever felt like raising support was all about the money?
When my wife and I were first married we jumped right into raising our own support.
And to be honest, at times, I hated it.
The reason I hated it was because as we struggled to get by on what we could raise, I felt like it was always about the money. There were times when it seemed like all I was doing was going through my contact list to see who I could talk to about our current financial situation.
What it really came down to though was that my view of support raising and ideas about biblical stewardship were off by a long shot.
Since then I have come to realize a few truths about what biblical stewardship really is and how it impacts our view of support raising. As I have had time to wrestle though passages found in God’s word about money, resources, and their use, I have discovered:
(1) It’s all about God
The key foundation to a biblical view of stewardship is centered on one idea, “Everything we have, own, and hold dear belongs to God.” The sooner we come to recognize this truth in our life, the sooner we become freed from the hold money and possessions have over our values and belief system.
(2) It’s about value
The values we hold on how we use our time, things, or money are influenced by what’s at the center of our hearts. The Bible frames this as, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” And whether we like to admit it or not, money can become that treasure. If worldly fears and values about money have hold of your heart, it is going to end up all about the money.
(3) It’s about management
If everything we have belongs to God, then it’s up to us to manage it wisely. This not only includes our paychecks, but also our relationships, gifts, skills, and environment.
(4) It’s about the journey
One of the great things about support raising is the spiritual journey we experience when we seek out God’s values.
When we open our hearts and minds to God’s leading with the stewardship of our earthly resources we discover biblical values through the process. In particular, this can impact our view of our donors. No longer will we view these people as a means to an end, but instead, we will realize they are our friends, family, and neighbors who want to minister with us as we serve
When I was younger I made our efforts to raise support all about the money. I was more concerned about meeting a financial goal rather than about inviting people to walk with us in ministry. Thankfully our journey with God is a never ending process of refinement. One thing is for sure; it’s not just about the money.
Mark Watson is the stewardship Ministry Manager at TEAM, The Evangelical Alliance Mission, a missions agency that empowers the local church to send missionaries and establish reproducing churches among the nations, going where the most people have the most need and proclaiming the gospel in both word and action.
Be sure to register for the 2014 CLA National Conference in Dallas, April 14-16. Take advantage of the special savings available now through October 31, 2013.