How is it that we are some of the wealthiest people on the planet and yet so many good quality gospel hearted ministries are struggling to survive economically?
In the last few months in Adelaide I have been regularly asked to see if I could dig deeper to support new or existing ministries that are actually engaging people with the gospel, and yet who struggle to survive economically. So I thought I would share with you the opportunities you have to use your wealth wisely for the sake for the gospel.
Firstly let me share with you the work of BCSA (Bible College of South Australia). BCSA, the bible college Bryan Hardman used to lead and that Dave Brown studied at, is training good quality gospel hearted pastors and leaders across denominations in SA. They have been running at a loss for many years and need only 200 people to commit $20 per week and they will cover their debt long into the future. To have a good quality gospel hearted bible college in SA is good not just for our church but for any denomination that wants its future leaders trained in God’s word.
Secondly there is CMS. CMS has for many years been sending gospel hearted and biblically trained people out to serve God through out the world. We as a church support Wim and Maaike and their family as well and Tim and Kylie and their family. CMS is also struggling to raise the funds needed to support these missionaries and they have others that would love to go, if only the funds could be made available.
Thirdly there is our local church. As a church we are constantly trying to reduce costs and we have no room for any longer term maintenance on our facilities. At our present rate of eating into our savings we will not have two staff members by mid next year, maybe sooner. Once again without going into the details here, our figures for May show we are heading for a $35000 shortfall (about $690 per week).
So what can you do about this? What can I do about this? Be generous is of course the obvious answer but in order to want to be generous we need to be captured by the vision and necessity of gospel ministry and we need to be aware that being generous actually is costly to us. If we give generously to gospel ministry it means we are actually going to miss out on something we might have spent that money on. I wonder if we are prepared to down grade our choice of wine or the exclusivity of the restaurant so we can give more money away to gospel ministry. I wonder if we will change our travel plans or cancel our subscriptions, adjust our mobile plan or delay our phone upgrade… so we can be generous towards gospel hearted ministries. Next week we will explore other ways we can support gospel ministry.