Three Myths About ‘Living by Faith’ With Finances (Pt. 1)
11 Oct 2017, Sarasota, Fl
Part 1 of 3 in our series about myths and preconceptions regarding finances in missions. Stay tuned for the next 2 parts!
Have you decided to step into missions?
Then congratulations! You have embraced the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and have committed yourself for this season to pursue full-time ministry! Go God! Regardless if you are going for an extended commitment, or just a short season (such as, to do a Discipleship Training School), this will be a truly awesome chapter of your life. You will see God work in the hearts of many people, including your own, and you will grow a deeper, more intimate relationship with the Father!
So in your excitement, you share this revelation with a parent, or a friend, or even a person at your church. And after you pour your heart out to them about discipleship within the 10/40 window, they get a puzzled look on their face:
“Huh? Full-time? What are you going to do for money?”
Your heart leaps up to your throat. It always comes down to money, you sigh. The reality is, your rent, insurance, or student loans aren’t simply going to disappear when you step into missions. Sadly, you will still have to manage covering your cost of living while out of the marketplace, without a regular marketplace job.
Finances can be a major hurdle when it comes to missions. It can not only prevent a missionary from fully committing to their assignment, but it can scare a person away from fulltime missions, as well.
But I want to encourage you: there is hope!
Most of our preconceptions about finances in missions are simply just that: preconceptions. The enemy uses fear and confusion to prevent the Gospel from being spread. My hope with this post is that you can begin to see God’s truth amidst these fears about finances, so that you can boldly pursue His calling for you this season!
1) “I live by faith, so I don’t need to raise support (finances).”
I’ve heard this plenty of times. Of course, we all walk by faith and not by sight. Amen! We know that God owns all of the wealth in the world, and that He is our provider, for every season of our lives.
However, when it comes to raising support, ‘living by faith’ has been distorted into validating a passive mindset, that ‘if God really wants me to do missions, I can simply sit here and the finances will fall in my lap.’ This passive mindset supports a ‘poverty mentality’ in missions, that somehow the absence of finances equates a supposed elevated faith. That since we are in missions, it’s expected that we have a lack of resources. In fact, the following verse is used to incorrectly reflect this stronghold:
Jesus sent out these twelve, instructing them as follows: “…As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near!’… Do not take gold, silver, or copper in your belts, no bag for the journey, or an extra tunic, or sandals or staff, for the worker deserves his provisions…(Matthew 10:5-11, NET)
It’s easy to think that Jesus is telling his disciples to enter the field in poverty. But the Lord is not asking them of this. He tells them that ‘the worker deserves his provisions,’ in fact. If you put yourself in the disciples’ shoes, how would you gather money, clothes, food, any resources that you would need to go from town to town, as Jesus commanded? With these words, Jesus is instructing his disciples to ask others to supply their daily needs. The only way that you would find the proverbial ‘man of peace’ as you go from place to place is to engage with others. To talk to people!
Think about it: Jesus was still a man, and while the Son of God, he still had an earthly body which needed food, clothes, and shelter. The infamous Judas Iscariot was the treasurer of the group. You do not have a treasurer if you are not dealing with finances. He and his disciples received hospitality, travelled to different locations, and had to rely on the generosity of others.
So in fact, by examining Jesus’ ministry, we see how it also required the support of others, just the same as your ministry! Living a life of faith requires action and stewardship. And finances, if anything, are an amazing way to practically engage with your faith.
-Christopher Balbi, YWAM Sarasota