We were laughing on Sunday at staff meeting about when our church plant took an offering for Troy Jones’ mega-church last year. We took our largest special offering ever and sent it to Renton. I’m sure that we are one of the few church plants in history to send a check to a large church for their building fund. It’s hilarious, isn’t it? At the time, that one offering equated to about 12% of our monthly budget. It was badly needed money, but not needed so much that it was worth keeping it.
There is actually a long story behind that moment that started 14 years ago and is a leadership principle that is worth gold. Fourteen years ago, after Mark had served as Troy’s junior high pastor, Troy hired me to help with youth events on a District Level. We put on camps and conferences for thousands of teenagers. During those years, Troy bought me and Mark ALOT of coffee to thank us for our hard work.
Then one day, Troy told Mark and I that we needed to buy him a cup of coffee. He’d been buying the coffee for years and it was time that we grew up and invested into ourselves as leaders every once in a while. Buying him a cup of coffee equated to him sitting down and investing into our lives and ministry. It was valuable time. He wasn’t being mean, but he was passing on a nugget of leadership wisdom that most people never get.
It’s very easy for all of us to be fed and to just ask for more all of the time. We even justify their sacrfice into our lives by our service to our leaders. I worked hard for Troy. I deserved that cup of coffee. But that’s not the point! The point is that when someone is constantly pouring into you, sometimes you gotta anty up and pay for the coffee. We must look at great leaders and think, “How can I bless them? How can I give back? How can I be a part of what they are doing rather than constantly making it about what I am doing?”
So, when we decided to send that offering to Troy, we thought, “It’s time to buy Troy a cup of coffee.” It was time to give back.
And now, here we are again. New Life is going to take an offering for North Creek for the second time and my first thought was, “All right. Now we’ve gotta figure out a way to give back.” It won’t be equal, but it will be sacrificial.
Who do you need to buy a cup of coffee for in your life? Who is that person who constantly pours into your life? It’s time to invest in yourself by investing in them.