1. God’s Ultimate Provision and Financial Support
Churches are very needy, especially church plants. The needs range from big ticket items, small ticket items, medium ticket items…the list goes on and we often don’t fully realize all the things that need to be provided for because quite frankly we’ve taken them from granted before. In the day and age where typically 100% of the financial support of a church comes from 20% of the congregation and where the concepts of tithing and offering are considered “optional” and “antiquated”, church financial support can be a huge source of stress and worry especially for a growing church plant, but we must constantly remember to set our sights on the True Source and acknowledge, surrender and defer to His will, His plan, His promises, His timing for everything.
Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain. (Psalm 127:1 ESV)
New churches seem to change by the minute. One week you could have 70 people and the next week 10. There are so many known unknowns and unknowns unknowns it can be extremely unnerving and top that off with the fact that people often have their own preferences and expectations of what church ought to be like and the list of people to please and items to address can easily become overwhelming. Much wisdom is needed to sift through all the criticisms of church members both constructive and some not so much to arrive at a healthy biblical dynamic of humility and teachability before men and an ultimate and supreme submission before God. We can be encouraged:
For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing.”’ (Deuteronomy 2:7 ESV)
Church membership and commitment is a difficult issue in the modern church where consumeristic mentality and attitudes have pervaded our understanding of ecclesiology. Whether its committing to small group, worship ministry, or sunday school class it’s a challenge in and of itself to challenge and convince people to give more of themselves. This, perhaps, may be attributed to a fundamental disconnect or a false dichotomy between our commitment to the church and our commitment to our Lord that should probably be dissolved. It may help us to remember that the membership in the Early Church often meant risking persecution and possibly death for being identified as a follower of Christ.
Please pray that a “facebook like” would be the bare minimum and not the full extent of our church commitment.
While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-20 ESV)