Aug31WedAugust 31, 2016
Five years ago, my wife and I jumped off of a cliff. Not a natural cliff, of course, but a financial cliff. In the months leading up to September, my wife had felt an urge from the Lord to open a small, bridal boutique. The ‘prompting’ was confirmed through conversations with business coaches, family members and other small business owners. We jumped off the cliff of security and had to find a new way to trust in the Lord financially. This has certainly been one of the most challenging endeavors that we have ever committed to. Owning a business has required us to trust the Lord in enormous ways, to pray fervently, to seek wise counsel and to learn from our erroneous mistakes.
We recognize that some people often find it puzzling that a pastor of an established church can also be a business owner. (Now, to be clear, my wife runs our business. I merely provide her with emotional, and spiritual support.) However, some people struggle to see how those two worlds, church and business, intersect. Some even see them as competing entities. Yet, the reality is that many Christians during the first days of the Early Church led and made disciples while supporting themselves through business endeavors. There were very few paid, full-time church leaders – like the Apostle Paul. But even he spent time working, for a season, with a husband and wife team who owned a small, tent-making business (see Acts 18:1-4). In fact, I believe that pastoral work and business owning helps my wife and I relate to both church life and cultural life much better than simply full-time ministry alone. Organizations like MEDA and the Lausanne Movement of 'Business as Mission' support this Biblical example.
Through this large endeavor, we, like most of you, have little choice but to trust God to provide for our real financial needs. We must work through the challenges of using a realistic and adaptable budget from month to month. When the economy gets sluggish, or when we stop receiving and/or listening to godly counsel in an ever changing market, then finances become an enormous burden - like what happens in your life.
I mention all of this today because there has always been a close link between a Christian’s faith in God and his or her use, abuse or anxiety about money. Over the next four weeks, we will be studying some of what Scripture has to say about financial stewardship, tithing, saving, budgeting, possessions and giving. To make the most of this series, in invite you to consider taking part in a 4-week small group study on Wednesday nights at 7:30pm or simply engage in this topic during Sunday morning worship. For Jesus teaches his disciples to neither be anxious about our life, nor be a slave to money, nor lay up for ourselves treasures on the earth (Matthew 6:25, 24, 19). How are you doing in those areas? Any room for improvement? As September begins, let’s reconsider how maximize our working lives and financial lives for the glory of God!