Mark Driscoll tweeted this weekend about a video in which he describes THE game changer in the history of Mars Hill.
A single thing that took them from 40 people to 800. A turning point that made the difference between their church shutting down and being the global influence that it is today through the Acts29 Network and Mark Driscoll’s teaching.
It wasn’t hiring a key staff. Putting on a big outreach. Giving a great sermon. Getting a new website. Him yelling at a bunch of men (that was a different video).
It was money.
A gift from a generous couple – a $200,000 gift that was 100x greater than any gift they’d ever received.
As ministry leaders we spend countless hours thinking through how to reach more people with the gospel. We plan ways to raise up new leaders. Get excited about new books/ideas that could be gamechangers. Dream of new websites that will singlehandedly reach the campus with the gospel. But we rarely think of money.
We just finished a week of planning and money didn’t come up once. I like to think that we can just suck it up and make do with what we have. I rarely, if ever, think “if we had all the money we needed, what would be the most effective way to reach this campus?”
Bill Hybels in his book Courageous Leadership calls the lead pastor (and in my case Campus Director) the CRR (Chief Resource Raiser).
He recalls when he first realized the necessity of money to fund the mission: “my romance with the notion of building an Acts 2 church had blinded me to the harsh realities of funding one.”
He goes on to say:
Theologian RC Sproul once asked me how much ministry I thought I could do for a hundred bucks. I assumed he was hoping for some deep theological response, but before I could think of one he answered the question himself, “You can do about a hundred dollars worth.” He was simply making the point that a fruitful ministry requires resources.
Be as theological as you want to be, but the church will never reach her full redemptive potential until a river of financial resources starts flowing in her direction. And like it or not, it is the leader’s job to create that river and to manage it wisely.
I just wonder what would change if our ministries and staff were abundantly funded. Imagine what God could do.
photo courtesy of Sprengben