Tag: Giving

Friends in the Foxhole

There is a striking contrast between those living a peaceful, routine, Disneylandish sort of life at home and those who must face tragic realities of war or oppression as a normal part of life. There are many accurate parralels which can be made between war and our spiritual lives as Christians, as the Church. The Christian life will not survive lived as passive business, nor is it always fun, nor should it be reduced to a pursuit of all American good times. Often we live our lives completely oblivious to the warlike spiritual realities all around us. The Christian life cannot be passive, nor can we afford to live on cruise mode. Those of us who wish to end all struggle as God’s blessings effortlessly overflow into our lives, as we relax and enjoy the ride, will find that this only sinks us deeper and deeper into spiritual stagnation and defeat. In the Christian life, if we are not moving forward, if we are not fighting the war, we will find very quickly that we will be forced to pick up our gear and charge into battle. The forces of our sinful nature, the world, and the devil and his legion are forceful and strong. The battle has been won in Christ…which means we must fight to enter into His rest (i.e. the Gospel)!

All of us, as Christians, are soldiers. Some have different positions and differing assignments. If we could cross this analogy over into the mission field, I’d like us to consider a couple things. Missionaries abroad could be considered, if you will, to be on the front lines of the war. Meanwhile, many are stationed back home at headquarters, and some of those, not all mind you, have dodged the draft. Many are back home learning Greek, examining in depth studies on apologetics and theology. Others are raising families or building businesses. All of these things are good, to note, given the right context. People who are deciding on a church to attend may consider things like the children’s program, the preacher’s personality or the music style, others are more concerned with the mission statement, how missional minded the church is, or the structure of church government, or any combination of these sorts of things. The reasons we have different types of churches which, all things considered, have the same Gospel, are endless. I am not saying these things aren’t important or that people shouldn’t study Greek. I will say, that some people are using studying as a backdoor out the house of serving. And, “what”, you ask, “is my point?”

What is the ultimate overarching divine assignment of the Church? It is that God would be glorified as we enjoy Him! Then, that the world might see Him as we have, and glorify Him. So, as the Church, our ultimate overarching objective is that all the world would worship God, which has been Sovereignly designed to be their perfect and greatest best. Our war mission is this, nothing less, and each of our individual commands is unique. Some of us are called to be going to the front lines, some communicating with the front lines and reporting to headquarters, some are calling for recruits, some send resources and others cry out to God. The goers cannot go without the strategic support of those back home. Why do I say strategic?

God has been strategically working since before time began. He created a world where He could be most glorified in His work of redemption. Some believe He created the perfect world. He was strategic when and how He sent His Son, and strategic in how He prepared for His arrival through the ages before. He was strategic in how the Gospel spread through persecution and the Roman trade routes, the Koine Greek lingua franca, and the Jewish merchants. He was strategic in choosing Paul as an Apostle and He is strategic in His plans for you and I. All He does is with intention and strategy originating in a mind full of schemes of infinite wisdom. As a logical and ordered being His war strategies are numerous and intertwined, and we know, according to His word, the gates of Hell shall not prevail against them.

As full time (most often overtime :)) missionaries in Ukraine, my wife and I, and others we work with, have a team of financial and prayer soldiers who consist of baptists, presbyterians, charismatics, Calvary Chapelers, Sovereign Gracers, non-denominationalists, inter-denominationalists, etc., etc. and differing shades within these Evangelical camps. When you are on the front lines of war, the denominational lines begin to blur. I am not saying they aren’t important, or that I don’t understand the sense behind some of them. What I am saying is that we are at war and we have victory in the Gospel! In Ukraine, in the foxhole so to speak, we are planning and preparing to, by God’s grace, plant a church in the future and are gearing up and training now. God is assembling a special forces unit to plant a new church in Odessa. It is very important for those on this team to have like-mindedness in our beliefs, especially in our understanding of the Gospel. However, in the foxhole, a place where resources and mega churches and Christian sub-cultures are few, we are thankful for the people God brings to us. As long as we have the same Gospel and that is thoroughly understood and we agree on the large majority of the implications of that Gospel, then we can work together. When you meet a friend in the foxhole with bullets wizzing above you, things which were heavy concerns back home begin to seem more trivial in light of present threats of destruction.

When I was in the U.S. recruiting a financial team, many churches allowed me to come speak although I wasn’t apart of their “denomination”. Others did not. Many will only support missionaries from their congregation or denomination. I understand that and I understand why. But, it seems the emphasis has been placed on peripheral doctrines which are not aiding our, the Churches, war strategy. I do not mean that because some doctrines are considered “non-essentials” that they are unimportant, the question is, how important should they be in light of the war we are in? So, we have to strategically decide how we can pool our resources to be more effective war strategists, and I am not talking mere finances. When we plant a church we will have a team which is in agreement on the key issues. Don’t get me wrong, the vision, eschatology, soteriology, ecclesiology, liturgy, homoletic structure, and the mission strategy are all very important. But there comes a time when we must ask if it’s more important I have all these things 110% understood, or that I’m giving my time to people and discipleship? Strategically, when should I stop hiding in a closet learning and blogging, and begin serving and going? Our leadership team will be in agreement on our essential beliefs and particular “non-essentials”, which may be considered non-essential for church membership, but not for leadership, and these things are to be determined. But, don’t you think it’s great that we can go plant a church without a denominational stamp and understand the Gospel, and the breadth and power and scope of it, and harp on it ’til we die, and have that church thrive and work? Striving for unity around the Gospel to have as many friends as possible with us, in the foxhole.

For those of you who are curious, I would gladly disclose my views on any or each of these doctrinal topics, in detail, some of them being tentative. I will also say on any of them I could be wrong. Whichever camp on each of these issues you would find me in, by default, you would find there are people fighting in the foxhole with me, who I disagree with. This does not mean however that we are not wearing the same uniform and firing at the same enemy. So, wherever I fall, I cannot please everyone. Which as much as I want to be in harmony with all my fellow soldiers, my priority is to be faithful to God, to pursue truth in a passionate and worshipful manner as I believe He commands us to do, and to divide His Word, without dividing the body. This will mean there are things we disagree on, but it does not mean we can’t love each other. Please, stop backbiting your brothers and sisters and strategically deploy yourselves into battle, together united around the Gospel as much as possible. I don’t want to have a church which carries a label, and along with that many misunderstandings from those who have been trained by a biased mindset or culture. I want to center around the Gospel and the person of Jesus, love people and teach the Scriptures as they word it and let the truth be it’s own defense. Disclosing theological buzz words and controversies creates an atmosphere where many opportunites to love and disciple people can be lost. So, our war strategy is to work hard, to dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s” of our theology, so much so that we know which hills are worth dying on, and in such a way that we don’t impend advancing into enemy territory. Love never fails! The aim of deepening our theology is to help ourselves and others find an increasingly profounder doxology!

For so long I strongly desired and worked tirelessly to get more Bible training. I believe preaching is the greatest privilege a man could have and an enormous responsibility…to give an account for overseeing men’s souls is a frightening thought! So, with much care and humility, a man called should be given to diligence in preparation. I desired to learn the biblical languages and read 100’s of books before even attempting to open my mouth.

Then, I came to Ukraine. I came to where bombs were being dropped and shrapnel was flying and saw the immense need for the Gospel. Suddenly, it seemed far less important whether or not I could read the Greek New Testament or quote all the church fathers (of course for some of us this is our calling and we need you guys and thank you so much for defending the Gospel, and for all your hard work!). Now, what mattered was practical hands on picking up an AK-47 and pulling a wounded soldier out of harm’s way. And what mattered wasn’t that I was an expert, but that I knew the Gospel, and understood the Scripture enough to teach it in a meaningful way. There is a thin line where we must decide when learning should become going. For each of us we must decide this time strategically. For me, it seems God has called me to begin full time service, however hard or uncomfortable that is, and set aside my theological, what could be proud, aspirations. And, as we fight this battle, the education continues, but the strategic emphasis is practical ministry where theology is learned and applied in the context of doing.

When I say we must strategize, I do not mean at all to be hardened in any way to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit guides our planning through biblical principles. All our plans must be subjected to being given to God’s glory and the worship of Him by all nations! All our plans must include, biblically, and therefore being led by the Holy Spirit, death to selfish ambition, redeeming the time, etc. However, there are many ways where we are falling short.

When at war, we must be conservative on how we use our resources and winning the war becomes a top priority where serious sacrifices are made, sometimes our very lives. If we are at war, and if winning a war requires strategy, which involves stewardship towards effectiveness, then we must look at how to win the war. The war is over when all the nations are worshiping Christ! This is our aim. It is not that injustices would be corrected, or that the starving would be fed, and people would have clean water. If people are worshiping Jesus this will happen, and doing these things can be a strategic means to that goal. However, we cannot leave these acts void of the Gospel or our strategy is weakened. We must be strategic in all of life’s decisions. I am pleading for all of you to spend a day, a week, a year, to sit down and look over everything prayerfully. To seriously consider these things, we probably just need to put on the breaks and pull over.

Countries at war strategize to win and do what it takes to execute their strategies. If, to win the war, it is for every unreached people group on earth to worhip Christ, for those in my neighborhood to worship Christ, my family, the atheists and the religions who have distorted the Gospel, what is your role in the grand scheme of this? Are you a goer or a sender? How does your life plans, big and small, support this single assignment to win the war whether you are a baker or a doctor? How have you rearranged your time and finances to be as effective as possible toward this aim?

How has your life been strategically arranged to help us win the war together? Are there friends who belong in your foxhole but you’ve asked to leave?

Take some extended time to pray about these questions. How have you been strategic and Spirit led:
With your primary career choice or education towards this single aim?
With God’s finances He’s entrusted to your stewardship?
With your weekly schedule, priorities, and time?
With spiritual disciplines and prayer?
In planning practical service and building relationships with others?

In encouraging others to be strategic?
In where you send missionaries?
In where you are planning to go as a missionary?
In your local missional involvement now?
In helping your church to think more globally? Or even locally for that matter?
In where missionaries are you are supporting, if you are supporting any, and in what they are doing?
What type of short term missions you support or are involved in?

Are you a goer or a sender? If you are a sender, what does that look like?

In light of the present war, which doctrines are essential for:

Salvation?
Discipleship?
Church membership?
Church leadership?
Partnering with or sending missionaries?
Working with missionaries?
Fighting in the foxhole?
Dividing over? :)

Is it more strategically beneficial for the Kingdom for you to enter the mission field on short term trips or for life?

Are you giving as much of your income and time to Kingdom building as is strategically wise and fruitful?

If you have decided to go into missions, what is your preparation plan?

Jonathan Edwards used to be strategic in planning his meals so he could be as effective as possible in life, which for him was always ministry. His time isolated with God was planned so that he could be more spiritually present to people when he was with them. There is a balance all of us must strategize. I would suggest for many of us, we have too much people time which isn’t fruitful at all. It would be greatly beneficial if the Church had a handbook which gave many examples of strategic outreaches, strategic schedules, strategic ways to use different careers, strategic places to send missionaries, strategic ways of cutting back on self indulging habits, strategic ways to be involved from home, or on the front lines, and strategic ways to save, invest, and give money towards the war efforts depending on various incomes, etc. I would love to write this book. Strategically however, I’ve currently decided to write a blog, pray for all the readers, and get back down in the foxhole with my friends.

If you can agree with this GOSPEL CENTERED CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT why not jump in the foxhole with us? To help us strategize towards the worship of God in Ukraine, click to JOIN OUR TEAM.

Monthly Ministry/Prayer Update | March 2012

“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

1 Corinthians 9:27

*To see our SPECIFIC PRAYER REQUESTS, scroll to the bottom. Thank you for praying!

There was a man full of the Spirit who went to preach. He prayed and prepared and studied and prayed and he was ready. As he stood to preach, he looked across the room and there was only one person who had come to hear his message – one. Returning home after delivering his message he reflected on all the hard work he had put into preparing the message. Throughout the course of his life God had strengthened him many times and brought him through many hard trials. He knew that to be a pastor he would have to endure many let downs, and many pains, he knew he would have to have the hide of a rhinoceros and the heart of a dove, he knew that though there was only one person in the crowd, he could not allow the numbers to deter him from doing God’s work. He had to remain faithful and he had to continue trusting in the goodness of God. He told his heart to put its hope in God, although he couldn’t help but wonder why only one person would show up to hear him speak. Finally, he returned home and went to sleep. The next morning he rose early to feed his cow. As he stood feeding his cow, the Lord spoke to him, “here you have just one cow, and do you not rise every day to feed it?”

One month ago I flew into Oregon from Ukraine and I have to say things are going great. There are days when the thought to give up has crossed my mind. I considered throwing in the towel at moments when I just thought I didn’t have any emotional steam left, after preaching in a big room with just a few people, then having to pack up and hit another meeting right away. However, these feelings are fleeting and soon are discarded as the Lord strengthens me to continue on, even when I see no fruit. I’m having to learn more and more that I cannot put my trust in the word of man, but my confidence must be in my heavenly Father. When things looked defeating, my wife and I resolutely determined to continue giving sacrificially, as God would have us do. And from unexpected people and places God began pouring into our cup. Will it overflow?

MINISTRY HIGHLIGHTS

For the last month I have been going to Bible studies, churches, sending out invites and calling numerous people to invite to our missions presentation on Ukraine. I suppose I naively thought in preparation that missions work would be as much a thrill for people to hear about as going to a ballgame or the flea market. The turn outs to these meetings have overall been very poor. Sometimes I don’t raise one single small monthly supporter. However, somehow God has continued to bless the work through unexpected means, be individuals wishing to honor God with their finances who I’ve never met before, or by steadily growing promising financial partners.

One Saturday, after inviting many people to the meeting throughout the week, only one guy showed up. That one guy was a blessing to see. The next day I went to a church where more people wanted to support our ministry in one day then in the whole last month combined.

For a short season, February through April, my focus of ministry will be support raising, while Lera serves with the church in Odessa. Lord willing, by God’s grace, we will raise the needed missionary support in just three months. Many missionaries can spend up to two years doing this. Support Raising is a ministry because we provide an opportunity for people to examine how they are stewarding God’s money, which they’ve been entrusted with, and because it helps foster a missional vision in the church. It is a reminder that each of us should be as directly and radically involved in the great commission, as God is. In some way each of should be doing our part. In Revelation 5 and 7 we see people from every tribe and nation and language worshiping before Jesus. This happens through the work of missions. Missions exist because worship doesn’t!

I would love to ask everyone to sell their house, quit their job, get rid of most of their earthly possessions, leave behind their comforts and privileges of living in the United States and come help us spread the Gospel in Ukraine. Well, if everyone went, there’d be no one to send out and support the goers. All of us have our part.

Do you believe in what we’re doing in Ukraine? If you do, would you team up with us? As we give our lives completely over to furthering the Gospel in Ukraine, would you be a part of the sending team? If you believe in our vision would you join us with just 10 DOLLARS PER MONTH? If a relatively small number of people supported us faithfully with less than the price for two frappacinos a month, we will be full time, long term lifers in Ukraine, penetrating the sub cultures with the Gospel in a country which desperately needs the Gospel!

To worship God in this way and team up with a solid evangelical team, click HERE.

Please notify us if you have made this decision. As part of these ministry endeavors my wife and I would also like to recommend this financial course we took during missionary training in Odessa. You won’t regret it:

Crown Financial Ministries

We would also invite everyone to make a visit to Ukraine, or any other impoverished country for a time. It will forever change your entire perspective!

PICTURE GALLERY

Preparation, invites, and many many phone calls.

Home meetings!

Sharing Jesus, missions and testimonies in public Schools, a Christian school and an addiction Rehab home!

Old friends!

Great food and a fish fire pit! Mike is a great metal worker!

New friends!

Bible Studies!

For my Valentine!

Few people!

Lots o’ people!

Signing up for prayer support!

California Jesus!

Praying for Ukraine!

Staying connected to home and my lovely misses.

PRAYER REQUESTS

1. Pray for daily faithfulness on my end and the end of others involved in the ministry. That hearts would be fully committed to the work even when it’s hard or there is no immediate visible fruit.

2. Pray for Lera who will be taking a trip to Poland with some staff from church to a missions conference. She will have to return home alone as others stay and sight see and I would appreciate prayer for her safety.

3. Pray for the salvation of many souls in Ukraine.

4. Pray for me as I learn Russian. Pray for quick learning and fluency.

5. Pray for our future church plant and for the team God will bring us together with.

6. Pray for Lera as she looks for our next flat and that we get the right deal.

7. Pray for Katya and Marina in Uganda. They were having some difficulties with their situation such as not being treated too well in the house they are staying and the pastor were they are serving teaching that it is okay to have sex if you don’t have HIV.

8. Pray for funds for the Redemption book to be translated into Russian.

9. Pray for Christian rec centers in Ukraine.

10. Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the field and for the government.

Thank you all so much. In this battle we truly need your prayers!

“And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, [the church] multiplied.”
Acts 9:31

Jacoby & Lera

A Means to a Means to a Means

Hello everyone. Just some thoughts from the hearts on asking people for money. Have any thoughts? You’re welcome to comment below.
 
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_R4IUV5M8Q&w=640&h=480]  
For anyone curious, here is a link to the missions agency which oversees our monthly financial allowance:
 
INTERNATIONAL MESSENGERS
 
Link to blog on Scriptural Support for Support Raising —>HERE
 
Link to a sermon on tithing and giving by John Piper —>HERE
 
Tim Conway sermon on money. Thumbs up!
 
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY0V3hJTJ-g&w=853&h=480]  
Check out our missions vid if you have a minute!
 

God is Not Broke …or Stingy

Just thought I would do a quick post on raising financial support as a missionary.

Frankly, I have a few other blog topics I’d much rather blobble about, namely “Eastern Orthodox”, “Who are these guys faces on Ukrainian Money?”, or “Things to do in Odessa, Ukraine”.  These will all be forthcoming.  However, I’ve been confronted with a similar question twice in the last month or so.  The first one came to me by way of facebook chat where a Christian acquaintance, shortly after I had sent emails soliciting financial partnership in advancing the Gospel through our mission work in Ukraine, asked me, “where in the Bible does it say to ask people for money?”  Duly noted.

I went to a Bible College who’s founder used to criticize Christian radio personalities who were always asking for money.  After they would say, “if you don’t send us some money, we will go off the air,” his response was, “Good!  God is not broke!”  In other words, he believes if God is backing your ministry then He will provide the means for it without you having to ask for it.  He liked to say, “Where God guides, God provides!”  Which is great, I agree, but can we necessarily make the assumption that if something is provided for it is God’s will (speaking here of God’s desired will, not His decreed or Sovereign will)?  If so, then the Mormon church is doing great things for God.  

Often, in churches I used to go to, they do not pass around an offering plate, or bucket, or pastel felt purse thing.  They simply have a quiet wooden box in the back of the building on the wall.  This does have appeal, for it sends people a strong message that you are not after their money, and it sends a perceived message that you are trusting God.  However, the fact remains that giving financially and sacrificially IS A BIBLICAL CONCEPT and often people need exhortation in this area.  Usually people need a little help with motivation in this area.  I know I did.  David Platt said, “we don’t realize what a grip things have on our hearts!”  At risk of sounding like a prosperity preacher, which I am flamingly not, if people are not supporting the Great Commission by giving to God of their lives and their money, then they really are missing out on a lot of God’s blessing in their life!

I’m pretty sure when this church sends out missionaries they support them for one year, then if they become self-supported within that time it is taken as a sign that God is blessing the work.  This is great too, but 1), not all of us have this option, and 2), often God’s missionaries have gone without.  And they were God’s missionaries.  I used to agree with what the people at my Bible College taught me and I like the example they set.  Someone once encouraged me to raise money to plant a church and said they would support me monthly like it was nothing.  I was encouraged, but said I didn’t believe in raising money that way.  I lived this way for years.  I too was bothered and thought it very distasteful for pastors who gave a mini sermonette on the importance of giving to God every time they took the offering at church.  I think this is a little too much.

A second friend, just a few days ago, mentioned that he thought the way the President of our old Bible School dealt with the subject of asking for money was good and I should think about it.  After a thoughtful email response, I gave him a phone call, and after further discussion we are now in agreement on the issue, 100%.

 After the first man had asked me, “where in the Bible does it say to ask people for money?”  I asked him, “where in the Bible does it say not to?”  He said I was shifting the burden.  I assured him that he did have a burden of proof because the Bible never forbids this.  He had convictions it was better to not ask for money, although he was all for missionary funding, but he was imposing his convictions on me.

In my missionary training I read a book and took some lessons from a book called “People Raising”.  I do recommend this book to anyone going into missions.  First they cover George Mueller, Hudson Taylor, and D.L. Moody’s methods of raising support for God’s work through them.  Mueller is known for his faith and many people set his example as the ideal.  It is said he never solicited financial help but only prayed when they were in need.  This is awesome!  1), not all of us can do this, and 2), the guy had an orphanage!  I am not minimizing his faith by any means, but I am sure almost anyone qualified for the job can go start an orphanage and somebody is gonna feed those kids.  Additionally there were plenty of people who knew of his work and knew his need.  Hudson Taylor took a more moderate approach and simply informed people of his work.  D.L. Moody on the other hand was a master at speaking with rich business men, of which he once was, and raising funds for all kinds of buildings and programs to be erected.  He was shameless, aggressive, and good!

The book makes note that none of these ways are unbiblical.  All three are okay within biblical confines and it encourages missionaries by making it clear that it takes faith to ask.  Asking does not mean you aren’t excercising faith.  You see, God works often through very practical means.  If I am evangelizing, I must do all I can to share the Gospel persuasively and clearly in love.  I must use all the arsenal I have in winning a soul to Christ as though it depended on me knowing fully that it is God who gives the increase.  

“So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”  1 Corinthians 3:7

“And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”  Romans 10:14

How will they know unless they are told?  If I want a job, I fill out an application, pray and trust God with the outcome.  If I want a promotion, I pray, work as hard as I can and do as good a job as I can, even ask for it and leave the outcome to God.  If I want to date a girl, I ask her out.  If she says, “no,” I can be sure God decided the outcome.  I know that God is infinitely wise, good, and all-loving so I trust Him.  It’s not about the outcome, it’s about me and God and whether I’m trusting Him or not.  

Proverbs 16:33 says,“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD.”  I do my part and leave the decision up to God.

This applys, I believe to every area of life.  If you would like more examples, or biblical references, please write and I would be glad to supply them.  It is not easy for me to ask people for money.  It is awkward, humiliating, uncomfortable, and just hard.  I am not trying to buy a house or a 4×4 SUV.  I don’t need anything.  We are not hoping for ministry, merely training for ministry, or being hypothetical about ministry, we are doing it.  And while doing it we are being personally mentored in it, both being discipled and discipling others ourselves.  We are making many sacrifices and prepared to make many more.  The only desire is for stability to serve God and be free to do that without financial strain or preoccupation.  This does not mean I am not aware that there will be times I just have to buckle down and trust God tooth and nail.

Continually, I have to preach to myself that support raising is a ministry.  And it is!  Consider some of the things it accomplishes:

~It reminds people to pray for you and the country you are in

~It raises awareness of missions and the Great Commision

~This in turn may play a part in mobilizing people into missions or ministry

~It encourages people to take inventory of their heart and what they are doing with God’s money

~It advances us in the Great Commission and what can be a more glorious “job” than that?!

~It provides an opportunity for people to participate in the Great Commission if they have obligations at home.

~It allows people an opportunity to receive God’s blessing upon their lives!

Once I am reminded that asking people for money is a ministry and helps them towards all these benefits, how can I not do it wholeheartedly, assertively, diligently, and tactfully by the grace of God?  I ask, and leave the results up to God.  I throw the dice and God causes them to fall.  Still the maxim remains true, “where God guides, God provides!”

The bottom line in the discussion isn’t what well meaning people think, however good their intentions, what people think of me, or what George Mueller did.  It’s not even about what Athanasius did! (That’s a bad joke about Church Tradition — holler if you get it), it’s about what the Bible says when interpreted, as Martin Luther would say, with “sound reason.”  

Below you can find a list of some verses in the Bible on the subject, with some brief comments by myself.  Please put on a meek and teachable spirit and read the whole thing objectively before bombarding your mind with all those distracting presuppositions.  Thank you for your time, your prayers, and your enthusiasm for truth!

These were taken from our course on People Raising:

+Why raise support?
1. Provides a base of prayer support.
Matthew 6:21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

2. Stretches missionary’s faith

Hebrews 12:11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

3. Confirms your calling.

Reminder that it is God that brought us here.

Romans 11:36 ESV  For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

4. Stimulates and encourages missionary vision in the body of Christ.

Average American believer keeps 97%-98% of God’s money.  You can help get the other 7%-8% that God deserves!

American church spends 95% of “God’s” money on itself.

You provide an opportunity for people to participate in God’s plan.

Psalm 67:4-5  Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah  (5)  Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!

Mark 16:15  And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

+Is raising support biblical?
O.T. Pattern –

Numbers 18:21-24 ESV  “To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do, their service in the tent of meeting,  (22)  so that the people of Israel do not come near the tent of meeting, lest they bear sin and die.  (23)  But the Levites shall do the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, and among the people of Israel they shall have no inheritance.  (24)  For the tithe of the people of Israel, which they present as a contribution to the LORD, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance. Therefore I have said of them that they shall have no inheritance among the people of Israel.”

God called Israel to give a tithe to support their “full time” spiritual leaders.
N.T. Pattern –

Luke 8:1-3 ESV  Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him,  (2)  and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,  (3)  and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.

Other people supported Jesus.

People Raising/Support Raising

Seaside Missionary Training Center

1. Read the following verses about fund raising.  Write principles or observations about support raising from each passage.

Exodus 25:1-2; 35:4-5 _____Moses spoke for them to give and they gave as their heart moved them.  __________Moses commands the people to give.

Numbers 8:14; 18:21-24 ______The Levites were set apart to do God’s work and have their needs provided for by the other people.____________

Deuteronomy 14:27; 16:17 ___The Levites were not to be neglected_______”Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.”_______________________

1 Samuel 9:7-8 ___Saul and his servant gave to the man of God for his service.__________________

1 Kings 17:1-16 ___Elijah asks for watwer and bread from a widow.  Then he tells her to go bake more for Him and that God bless her and provided for her more than she had._________________

Nehemiah 2:1-8; 13-14 __Nehemiah asks the king for permission, protection, and materials to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls.__________________

Proverbs 30:7-9 ___A prayer for God to provide just the right amount according to His wisdom.___

Matthew 10:5-15; 11:18-19 __Jesus told the disciples not to take any money with them on their journey but to LOOK FOR some worthy person to house them saying, “the worker is worth his keep.”___

Luke 8:1-3; 10:1-8; 16:10-12; 21:1-4; 22:35-38 __Three women were supporting Jesus and the disciples from their own means.__Jesus tells the 72 to find a house on their journey that will receive them and, “Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages.”  ___God tells us to be faithful with His money.  I believe this involves giving.___Jesus teaches that it’s not about the amount that is given, but the heart behind it._____There are times when we are supposed to bring money with us on our mission.___________________________

John 12:3-8 ___Lady pours her expensive perfume on Jesus feet._________________________

Acts 10:2-4; 18:3-5; 20:33-35 ___Of Cornelius: ” He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.”_____Paul was a tent-maker, for awhile.  However when his ministry partners arrived he began preaching full time!______Paul models an example for working hard and helping the week, and remionds us, “‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”___________________

Romans 15:20-24 ___Paul says to the Romans, “I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.”____________

2 Corinthians 1:16; 8-9; 12:13 __”I wanted to visit you on my way to Macedonia and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way to Judea.___”And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in yousee that you also excel in this grace of giving.”_____Paul apologizes to the Corinthians for not having had them give him more._________________

Galatians 6:6 __The Bible teaches to give to your Bible teacher._________________________

Philippians 4:10-20 _”Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.”________________

1 Thessalonians 2:9 ___Paul is not afraid of workin to supply his needs.  He is not seeking to burden anyone although it sounds almost wrong of the church to have him have to do this.______

2 Thessalonians 3:7-9 ___Paul says why he worked hard, “We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate.”  Now he expected them to follow his example._____________

1 Timothy 5:17-18; 6:17 ____Paul says the elders of the church are worthy of double pay, especially if their job is preaching and teaching.  “For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.””__________________________

2. What is the biblical basis for Christian worker’s being support by others?

Numbers 18:21-24 __The Levites would do the Lord’s work and the rest of the Israelites would support them.__________________________

Matthew 10:5-15 __People would provide for the Disciples out of their hospitality and service.___

Luke 8:1-3 __The three women who had been healed of evil spirits and diseases cared for Jesus and the disciples out of their own pockets._____

Acts 18:3-5 ___Their is a time to work as a missionary to support yourself, but it is more beneficial for the work of the ministry when you don’t have to. (I also believe Timothy and Silas likely brought a gift for Paul from the Macedonian church)._________________

1 Corinthians 9 __”Don’t we have the right to food and drink? Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas? Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living?”_____”whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?”_________________________

3. Is there a biblical basis for asking for support or making needs known?

1 Kings 17 __Elijah asks the widow for bread.____

Matthew 10:11 ____”Whatever town or village you enter, SEARCH THERE for some worthy person and stay at their house until you leave.”______

Romans 15:24 ___Paul tells the Christians in Rome he plans on receiving aid from them when he comes through.  He says this expectantly.____

2 Corinthians 1:16 ____He repeats to the Corinthians what he said to the Romans._____

These are not all the verses on money and giving but they are some interesting ones.  I would be happy to hear what you think of them.