Why do we invest our financial resources? To get a return on that investment. We expect that the seed we planted in our portfolio, 401K or IRA will grow into something greater. When it doesn’t–when there is no return–we reallocate our resources somewhere else.
That all makes sense–we all do it.
What I have been struggling with is how this idea of investing is lived out in discipleship. I’m not sure we are so quick to reallocate our resources in the church. Where are you investing your time, talent and treasure? Are you getting a return?
There are many programs in many churches that were well serving–but their season has ended and yet we feel this overwhelming need to support and maintain them. Often at the expense of starting a new and vibrant ministry. Imagine if we took the time, talent and resources away from failing programs and gave our congregations the freedom to discern how God might do something new? Or pour those resources into something that IS working so there is even more fruit.
We have been evaluating, tinkering with and contemplating Sunday School at our congregation for some time. And I wonder–are we getting a return? It is a HUGE investment. And there is not much yield. What if we took that those resources and invested them into fruitful discipleship programs like Awana, Upward, Life Groups.
Would the congregation be OK saying goodbye to Sunday School? Is there a way to retool it? What else could we be doing with that 90 minutes every week that would bring a return? What do we do?
We patiently listen. We realize it is not our resources we are investing. As Stewards, we must discern what the owner would desire for His resources. It is not our job to bring the return–we plant, we water, HE brings the increase.
“Lord, our prayer is that you would reveal your will to us. Show us what your plans are for the resources you have lent us. Help us to see what you are doing and where you are moving so that we may invest wisely in YOU. If there are programs that need to be shut down–help us to see. If there are ministries that need revamped–give us the wisdom. If there are new things we are to do–show us Your vision. If there are places where you want more–make it known. Above all, God help us to glorify you and give us the grace to be good stewards of YOUR resources. You are Almighty, Holy and True–and we ask this in Your name. Amen”