Since so much of this blog is about things I’m learning and developing through my ministry at Hunter Bible Church, I think it’s worth discussing some principles that shape how we communicate our spending and financial plans.
We’ve just had our “Gospel Proclamation Investment Night”. It’s a night where we talk about God’s plan for the universe, and our prayers to be part of that as a church, and how much those plans are going to cost in the next year. But we don’t think “cost” is the right word… Because every dollar put towards Jesus’ kingdom is a dollar invested. It’s a privileged to give – it might also be a sacrifice – but it’s a privilege none the less.
So how should our church invest it’s income in 2015? That’s what the night was about.
We sang to God together, we looked at Revelation 5, we had a time for people to ask any question at all about the money and why we’ve made the plans we have. And then we prayed and prayed some more and sang.
But the tool we used to go through the material was a little folded page. It tries to communicate how our spending is changing from 2014 to 2015, and clearly express where that spending goes.
Check it out here…. 2014 HBC GPI Booklet
The simple answer is to spend money on leaders who will raise up more leaders (or facilitate that process).
It’s the principle we see again and again in the bible.
The glory of David’s earthly kingship was not his army of men, but his men who each led their own armies (a bit like Jethro’s advice to Moses). Jesus invested in the 12, sent out the 72, all because the harvest needed workers. Once the gospel exploded out of Jerusalem (Acts 8) each disciple became leaders of new things. The kingdom grew. Paul invested in Timothy, who was to entrust the message to faithful men, who would go and entrust it to others.
But the description of the church “building one another up in love” in Ephesians 4 is most helpful. The church’s earthly goal is self-growth; both numerically and spiritually. So leaders like evangelists, pastors, teachers (even the apostles and prophets of the time) were meant to help the members of the church grow each other.
So, where should a church spend its money?
It’s should invest in people who will lead, teach, mentor, entrust other people to be leaders within the church, for the growth of the church.
There will be times or seasons when a church needs to invest in ways to increase the efficiency of those people; by providing an office, or a building, or a database, or a website, or a publishing house and books.
But the facilitators must know their place in the pecking order.