If the only thing standing between you and the vision is money, then go out and raise some.
I heard this quote the same day I read the story of Jesus, the temple tax, and the fish. It all came together to remind me of a powerful part in funding ministry – our part.
The element of trust in God’s provision is foundational to anyone serving in ministry leadership, responsible for vision and funding for it. Without God’s help, it would never happen. Jesus owns the church and provision is abundant. But, in many ways, we are a piece to the puzzle. The passion and dreams placed in us along with the charge that has been given, fuels our desire to make sure it is funded and happens well.
In the story of the temple tax, Peter realizes they owe the tax but he has no money (and is a little confused about why they are taxed anyway). Jesus tells him that they don’t want to offend anyone. “So, go down to the lake, throw in a line, and open the mouth of the first fish you catch and you will find a large silver coin. Take it to pay the tax for both of us.” (Matthew 17)
I’m struck by this story because Jesus tells the miracle of the coin in the mouth of the fish before it happens. Additionally, he goes ahead and covers his portion of the tax too – he follows the rules of the land.
And third, and probably most important, money is available in a variety of ways – nothing is impossible for God!
Of course, money isn’t the only answer – it’s the trust in Jesus’ power that fuels our direction and ministries, as is the case in this next passage:
Peter and John were heading into the temple and stumbled upon a begger. They stopped and the begger thought they would give him money. They responded with a famous line: “We don’t have silver or gold, but we will give you what we have, healing in the name and power of Jesus. You can get up and walk!” The man got up and began leaping and praising God! (Acts 3)
Jesus’ power obviously goes way beyond any amount of money there ever could be. However, Jesus also uses money to accomplish his purposes. For the heavens, money is a tool to be used. Why else would God pave the streets in gold? Money itself is not evil, the love of it is.
We praise God for the intangible ways miracles are worked in the lives of people! At the same time, we praise God for the provisions provided to us (and our ministries) so we can keep effectively serving the community and living faithful lives.
There’s no reason to have a scarcity mindset.
If God is calling and has put a burden of a vision for your church or specialized ministry, then you may be called to step out and help fund it. Much like Peter, who saw things happen both ways – God’s power evidenced through providing money and providing without it, we must put our trust in Christ! Both times, Peter was a strategic part of it! Either way, we want to be in harmony and partnership with God and his economy.
What area of ministry is God calling you to help fund? If you’re reading this and thinking about starting a ministry, I’m praying for you! If you’re in the middle of an exisiting ministry and need an extra boost to help fund it, I’m praying for you too!
And if you’re reading this and have a sense that God is leading you to be an answer to prayer by patnering with a ministry, then you’re invited to do so immediately! You can start here, with Harvest, praise the Lord.
Pastor or ministry leader, you may very well be called to be a part of raising funds for ministry. Be bold. Be faithful. Be humble. And realize that if it’s the only thing standing between you and what God is calling you to do, it’s going to take some work, but jump in. Learn all you can about it. And remember that to God, money is a tool to be use for kingdom work to be accomplished.
Here are some other thoughts on money, fundraising and ministry:
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