Author: Josias Conradie
Category: Prosperity Gospel
There is a 5 letter word that is worse than a swear word for many Christians and many if not most people involved in world mission. It is the elephant in the room of many mission discussions although few will admit that it is there. It is not mentioned in churches unless there is a new building project. When I was interviewed a few months ago by a South African Christian radio station, the interviewer said that I must not mention this word despite being the manager of the Global Mission Fund. We pray about it but we feel to talk about it is as close to sin as alcohol is for teetotallers. On the other side, 15% of what Jesus said deals with this word…
By now I expect that everyone would have realised that I am talking about MONEY! Yes that dirty word that we all need but are too embarrassed to admit that we need it. If we do, then we feel that our faith is not strong enough to trust God to provide in all our needs. I wonder whether this could be the reason that Christians give about 1.8% (some researchers estimates it is somewhat higher) of their income to Christian causes which would include giving to churches. Giving to world mission is even lower – only $10 per Christian per year!
Yes, the proper use of money and possessions is an important topic that is being addressed throughout the Bible. However, in today’s mission community it is seen as ‘worldly’ and has become one of the big taboos in discussion. It might be that we want to give God our whole hearted attention that we make as if money is not important at all. Even though Paul for example wrote the letter to the Philippians to thank them for their material support of him while he was in prison. Or we might want to follow the examples of some of the heroes of the global mission movement such as Hudson Taylor and George Mueller who never mentioned their financial needs to others.
I just wonder – could it be that Christians give so little to Christian causes in general and to world mission in particular because we have not followed the real Biblical approach to money and possessions? That we have put so much emphasis on the dangers of money and wealth that we neglected proper teaching of Biblical stewardship to use financial resources effectively in God’s Kingdom? Might we have forgotten that God desires people to prosper both spiritually and financially to accomplish His purpose in fulfilling the Great Commission?
The Lausanne Resource Mobilisation Working Group had been established within the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelisation to catalyse a culture of Biblical stewardship within the wider world mission movement. People involved in this Working Group realise that we cannot accomplish God’s mandate for world evangelisation without the mobilisation of God’s resources and better stewardship of those resources. The vision and passion of the Working Group is a global culture of generosity and effective stewardship of God’s resources to support world evangelisation. We started facilitating a process to enable the discovery of God’s financial for world evangelisation, the development of those resources and the more effective deployment of those resources to see more people transformed through the Gospel. Do you have a similar vision and passion? Then why not join us in discussions and initiatives to make this vision a reality.