Practice Stewardship and Self-support
Yes, brothers in Christ, you can invest in eternity by returning to God what He has lent to you to glorify Him, that is, your time, treasure and talent.
Yes, Lord, like Paul, we use your gifts to complete the ministry to which you called us, under any circumstances, even if it entails pain or death, whether or not it brings us earthly benefit.
Jesus taught often and forcefully to give sacrificially. His harshest warnings came in parables that urged stewardship of what God entrusts to our care. Jesus assured that giving on earth is an investment in eternity, just as the miserly risk losing their soul forever. Godly stewards invest what He has given them for His glory alone.
To keep flocks multiplying, empower many volunteer workers. The ratio of volunteers to paid workers may be 100 to 1, or even greater. Paul worked with his hands at Ephesus and at Corinth, to support himself and his coworkers. He labored in Thessalonica to set an example for greedy leaders who did nothing unless someone paid them. In healthy movements, church-planting projects remain non-budgeted, whilst new believers simply take Jesus to friends with whom they form new, small congregations.
If you will let believers know for what specific needs they are giving offerings, then they will give more eagerly. Paul did not simply ask poor people in Macedonia to give; he also told them that believers in Jerusalem were suffering severely from poverty, and they responded with exceeding generosity (2 Cor. 8:1-5).
People pray more conscientiously for workers in whose ministry they are investing. Likewise, accountability is stronger, and field workers need the moral support and stabilizing relationship that a “sending church” provides.
Resources For While You …
Develop stewardship. Using common, non-biblical ploys to urge others to give weakens churches and outreach. Learn God’s way to motivate givers; it might not be what you expect:
Fidget over finances. This list of biblical rules to deal with finances can bring unexpected blessings and help you, your church or agency avoid unnecessary grief:
Keep volunteer workers active. This brief, vital set of guidelines proves crucial while you coordinate an ongoing project:
Common Traps To Avoid
Policies that require an excessively-large investment to start churches and businesses.
Needlessly-expensive policies consistently destroy church multiplication.
Professional fundraisers who announce, “This is not about money” and then talk only about money.
Although some fundraisers are ethical and follow biblical guidelines, beware! Others compel folk to give through non-biblical incentives, including feeling shame for not contributing heavily to a project. Such a ploy perverts godly stewardship. “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).
Plead. Nowhere does the Bible condone pleading as a means of supporting God’s workers. Avoid putting a veneer on pleading to make it appear honorable.
Run a phony business as a cover to plant churches in hostile fields.
Set up only a real business. Local authorities are not stupid; when they see a foreigner driving a pricey car and living a middle-class life-style beyond what he could earn in his tiny business, they know he is either a spy or, worse, a sneaky missionary. [Not all sneaky missionaries are American CIA, so they may belong to another country’s spy agency.]
Raising full-time support, and then merely pretending to be a self-supported, in a pioneer field.
This deception leaves one living in fear of exposure; a gnawing sense of insecurity often leads to burnout. It also keeps churches from sending sufficient workers to neglected peoples.
Stop support from a home church when a “tentmaking” business earns ample income.
Continue receiving token support from a sending church, to ensure ongoing prayer and accountability.
Promise prosperity to believers.
Some Evangelicals preach that the New Testament promises material blessings in return for faith or even for giving to them. However, Jesus and His apostles promised only spiritual blessings and heavenly rewards; on earth they promised only suffering.