It has been said of Pastor Greg Surratt that “he thinks with more zeros on the end than other people”. In other words, he’s got some BIG dreams that take a lot of cash to fulfill.
Mark and I want that to be said of us as well. I wondering how many great men and women have given up on dreams because the price was too great? Both the price in money and the price in sacrifice. Dreams and money have been a major theme in my life for the last few years. God is changing my perspective and growing my heart in this area.
If money was no option, what dreams would you go after? Are you telling God that if he provides the finances, you’ll follow through on what’s in your heart? Maybe that’s the wrong order of things. Maybe the right step of faith is, “God, I’m going to plow forward with what you’ve put on my heart and I assume you’ll provide the finances if my heart and your will align.” Money and faith are tightly intertwined. It seems that people get really bold if the money is there, but pull back if the bank account says that it can’t be done.
I think that is also a reason why it is so difficult to give. Not only do we hold back our dreams because we don’t have money, but then we don’t give generously because we are afraid that the zeros in the bank account will diminish and be our last.
As I said, over the last four years, I have changed my perspective greatly about finances. I have set that excuse aside and just asked God what He wanted of me inspite of the sacrifice.
In that journey, we have decided to give more. I’m going to tell you a little bit about our finances to help you see how God is molding and shaping my lense of giving. I took a two-night-a-week job in November that makes about $350 a month. We give 10% of that in tithe right off of the top…no negotiating, no praying about it, just obedience because I believe that 10% is the bottom rung to a life of generosity. So, now I’m down to $315 to “take home”. After that we prayed about what God would have us do with the money. In spite of the fact that we are tight financially, we felt like we needed to give $200 a month to His work. My past perspective would have been that it is ludicrious to work for the leftover $115 a month. I might as well just go and sell some plasma. My new perspective is that Mark and I got to increase our giving to His agenda with a relatively small sacrifice to my time.
It may seem small, but I believe in the power of the Kingdom of God working as a functioning body. Last year we had 92 different people give to our church. Let’s say that somewhere around half of those attend regularily. If 50 people all increased their giving by $200 a month, that would amount to $10,000 a month – exactly double our current budget. We already do SO much incredible ministry with our current budget…what could we do with twice that?
And that’s why I dream BIG. Because I believe that God looks at our dreams that seem so astronomical to us and sees how easy it is for His people united with passion to change their communities and their world.
So, dream and give. To North Creek, to Haiti, to a missionary…whatever…but stop asking how little God requires of you and start dreaming about how BIG your God is.
Good stuff. You said something similar to me when I shared some of my frustrations with you and Mark about where I would like to see my family growing, moving etc. I was frustrated because my “financial plan” wasn’t falling into place as quick as I would have liked it in order to move forward with our other plans. We took your advice and decided to move forward anyway and as soon as we made that decision, everything started falling into place, financially and mentally. Thanks for your wisdom.