“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for the credit card companies. There is much jingle belling and hearts will be telling of credit galore. It’s the happiest season for more.” Ok, so I reworded the old classic Carole. But someone needs to say it, “don’t spend more than you can afford on Christmas- this year.” Reign it back in if you didn’t save well. Continue reading “You can still Pay for Christmas with Real Money”
Our community is awash with spring fundraisers. It seems like the majority of the churches are having spring-break mission trips. All of the the nonprofits are targeting tax-return season. It can be overwhelming, and if you are not careful, you can become a bit jaded or bitter towards the requests or potential requests you are receiving. However, if you have a plan for your finances (specifically your giving dollars), this can be one of the greatest times of the year for you. Giving opportunities, when you have money set aside for giving, are some of the more encouraging uses of your finances. It’s like being a kid in a candy store with a little change!
I heard of a man recently say, “I wish all these kids would stop sending me letters about their mission trips.”
Check out this excerpt from a 1918 book called Money the Acid Test by DAVID McCONAUGHY:
This could be a hidden gem of a book!
You may not believe this, but missionaries are not assuming that you are going to give to their ministry. They hope you might. But honestly, they have no idea where God is going to send the money from. All they can do is meet with folks, share their vision, and wait to see what happens. They don’t think less of you or judge you. They just want you to consider their cause. Earlier I wrote an article entitled “Why Would I Say “No” To a Missionary?” where we addressed the great opportunity to be involved as a financial and prayer partner with ministries around the world. However, the reality is that the Lord will not lead us to support every cause we are exposed to. He knows, and we know, that we have limited resources and must be strategic with the money we are stewarding. Continue reading “What Should I do if I don’t Feel Led to Give to a Missionary?”
You may not realize it, but the Church’s primary strategy to get missionaries to the field is through personal support raising. Don’t believe us? Talk to your pastor this week. Tell him God has called you to be a missionary. After his jaw returns from the floor, he will be excited for you. Then ask him how much of your missionary budget the church would be willing to commit to your endeavor. The answer to that question will tell you if your church views its responsibility as the primary funder of its global workers or just one of the pieces to your financial puzzle. In missions circles, we call that centralized funding versus decentralized funding. Except for a few denominations, most churches practically believe the missionary is responsible for raising the needed funds from other believers and other churches in order to accomplish his or her mission. Let me illustrate. Continue reading “An Open Letter to the Body of Christ about Generosity to Missionaries”
Have you ever wondered if your faith is genuine? You may be able to recite all the creeds and your behavior is consistent with what you read in the Bible and the Christian subculture you associate with. But, you are looking for something deeper. Something that reassures your heart as well as your mind. I ran across a passage in 1 John 3 that is both convicting and comforting all at the same time.
17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him 18 little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 19 We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him 20 in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
Warren Buffett is known for his one-liners and one of his most memorable ones is about financial mismanagement. He says, “You only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out!” By that I think he means that if you are not managing your finances well, then when you encounter a tough time your vulnerability will be obvious to all. That is why we are so insistent that every family needs a financial spending plan. As we discussed in our previous post two out of three families are just winging it when it comes to their finances. And as Mr. Buffett says time will reveal what we are wearing under the water. Continue reading “Signs of a Healthy Financial System: Generosity”
Have you ever supported someone or some ministry for a long time at the very same amount? When I was on staff with a student ministry we had many families who locked into their $25 a month for 10 plus years. Now don’t get me wrong I appreciated their faithfulness, but someone who is that committed to our ministry has a lot of time, prayer and energy toward seeing us be successful. True partner kinda of folks. And I always wondered why they didn’t consider increasing over time. For some of them I don’t think it every crossed their mind. Now maybe I should have chatted with them about considering raising their support, but I didn’t always. What the point you ask? Continue reading “When should my missionary get a raise?”