Don’t tie your pastor’s hands when it comes to a budget. A church’s budget reveals its heart, and it should also reflect God’s values and priorities. Jesus said, ‘Make disciples of all nations…teaching them to obey everything I…commanded you’ (vv. 19-20 NIV 2011 Edition). Our responsibility is twofold: to evangelise sinners and to equip saints. Many churches tie the pastors’ hands by penny-pinching, preventing the church from fulfilling the great commission. It’s commendable to be wise about spending money, but fear-driven churches stockpile savings and investments for a rainy day. This not only hinders effective ministry, it discourages giving. When people know there’s lots of money squirreled away in a bank account, they’re apt to say, ‘Why should I give from my limited resources?’ Mission-focused churches aren’t afraid to spend money on ministry, and as a result God moves people’s hearts to give generously. Remember the three stewards in Matthew 25 who were charged with administering their master’s money? Two put the money to work and earned his approval by doubling their investment. The third risk-averse steward held on to the money, returning just the original amount. Consequently the master said, ‘Take the thousand [from him] and give it to the one who risked the most…get rid of this “play-it-safe” [steward] who won’t go out on a limb’ (vv. 28-30 MSG). The church’s job isn’t to amass funds – it’s to ‘go out on a limb of faith’ by enabling God’s servants to do His work unhindered, and trust God for the ‘rainy days’.
Num 9-10, Mark 5:1-20