Recently my wife and I went to visit an uncle of hers. One conversation led to another and we got talking about this beloved church family they belong to. One of the prayers they kept praying as they spoke about their church was that God would return their church to the days of its glory. I could tell that this dear family loved their assembly deeply and that prayer was birthed from a place of concern. So I got interested and asked them a number of questions…
LET ME SAY THIS TO YOU AS A PASTOR; it will help you. You can come to a place where you live in your bubble of leadership and no longer understand what is going on around you. Listen to conversations around, they might help you see things you have probably missed. If you don’t, you might miss out on cues and handwritings on the wall till everything around you goes south.
Now, many things I heard from this aged couple touched my heart. It was like they gave me an autopsy of a dead or a dying church. Of everything they said that night, one in particular stood out, especially because it resonated with an instruction my Spiritual Father gave me while we were starting out.
Here it is:
NEVER TELL THE PEOPLE TO GIVE TO A CAUSE AND THEN USE IT’S GIVINGS AND SACRIFICES FOR ANOTHER PROJECT OR REFUSE TO DO WHAT YOU SAID YOU WILL DO!!!
Please Dear Starter, Neeeeevvvvveeerrrrrr do such a thing! No matter the temptation, no matter the pressure.
You see, the capital for business may be money but it is not so for ministry. The capital for ministry is TRUST. Once trust is gone, all that is left is packaging and manipulations.
Truth is, as you go through ministry, there will be projects ordained by God for your ministry to do in order for it to move forward and become all that God has ordained it to be.
Now, follow me closely.
All through the Bible, we saw amazing miracles:
-Jesus walked on water.
“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.”
-The sun stood still for Joshua.
“Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.”
-The sea parted to create land.
“But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”
I could go on and on but my point is, never have we seen in scriptures, a time when money was poured out of heaven for a building project or any project that concerns the house of God. God never rained down money upon the earth to build His house. The people of God ALWAYS gave for the building of the house of the Lord, EVERYWHERE IN THE SCRIPTURES. Note this: everywhere.
Time won’t permit me to highlight it all but here are a few:
-BUILDING THE TABERNACLE
“And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the Lord commanded, saying, Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, And oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense”
BUILDING THE TEMPLE
-1 Chronicles 29:1
“Then King David turned to the entire assembly and said, “My son Solomon, whom God has clearly chosen as the next king of Israel, is still young and inexperienced. The work ahead of him is enormous, for the Temple he will build is not for mere mortals—it is for the lord God himself!”
“And now, because of my devotion to the Temple of my God, I am giving all of my own private treasures of gold and silver to help in the construction. This is in addition to the building materials I have already collected for his holy Temple.”
“They also contributed numerous precious stones, which were deposited in the treasury of the house of the lord under the care of Jehiel, a descendant of Gershon.
The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the lord, and King David was filled with joy.”
I can still show you much more but for the length of reading, I will stop here. It is highly essential that you know that the way God has ordained things to work in his house is for his children, his people to give sacrificially to the work.
Now, having given to the Lord, God also expects the leaders to use it for the purpose/purposes for which the giving was made.
You can’t raise an offering for children’s church and finally realize that it’s your lapel mic you need to change. You can’t raise an offering for expansion and then realize that you want to buy Air Conditioners for your office. Don’t underestimate the intelligence of those following you.
There are pastors who complain about their members being stingy but the ONLY problem is that the man of God has lost his TRUST CAPITAL. His words are now taken with a pinch of salt.
You have to DO what you said you will DO. You are still going very far in life and ministry, and there are men that God has ordained to support you. People who God has ordained to give to the works of the ministry and the assignment He has committed to your hands. Don’t lose them for lack of wisdom.
It doesn’t matter the pressure, stick with the plan. If, and this is a BIG IF, you need to change the initial plan, bring this up and discuss it with the people of God.
Moses did not take of the gold they gave for the building of the tabernacle to make hand chains or bracelets out of them. Solomon also did not use the precious stones for something else.
The fact that you can even do an exegesis on the tabernacle is proof that Moses did what was right. You wouldn’t have known about the Inner Court, Holy of Holies and all those beautiful things we now read about, if Moses had spent the money given on something else.
If the people can trust without reserve that you will do everything you say, then it’s easier to have a generous assembly. God bless you.
Welcome to Freedom!