Finances are a real struggle. Countless church planters and pastors' find that there can be a lack of finances when in full-time ministry. Some of you have support raised that will end in a couple years, some of you are bi-vocational, some of the pastors' wives work, and some of you are praying over your mailboxes in hopes that your financial needs will be met. Sometimes we can forget that finances can and are a struggle whether we are in full-time ministry or not.
Some of you left your high pay job for a much smaller check in ministry. And some of us, we never knew any different when it comes to finances. Money is tough, just ask your little congregation to give a little more, and see the look on their faces. While I don't know the answer to get you an abundance of finances. What I do know, is this. The more we give away, the more we have. It seems as though the more we try to hold on to what we have, the less we have.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:25-34
For the first couple years of ministry, we were living off of support only. My husband was the pastor, but no staff took a paycheck. I can remember countless times us praying over our little apartment mailbox. I kid you not, not one bill went by without being paid. Everything was always paid for. It was honestly God, because we didn't have the most consistent support. We had people giving, but we only had one dedicated giver that we counted on every month for a check of $50 for two years. It was super hard to budget because we didn't know what we would have month to month.
Year two came, support ended and we had no choice but to start paying the pastor and worship pastor. We began taking a paycheck, and something changed. Little by little we started relying on people to support us rather than Jesus. Money started burdening us, we didn't have the staff to handle finances. It was all on my husband, and he could see who was and wasn't giving. GASP! I know, I can hear you now. Setting up boundaries and delegating a team over the finances should be mandatory and is a blog for another day.
But because we started relying on people rather than Jesus, money just wasn't meeting our needs. We couldn't pay for our personal bills, we were getting behind, and pretty soon the church couldn't pay for its bills either. I don't think Jesus stepped back, and refused to meet our needs anymore. I think He was always there, and ready and willing to give. But we weren't relying on Him anymore. We were relying on people.
Pastors' and pastors' wives, who are you relying on? People won't sustain you. My story can testify to that. The first couple of years we weren't making anything yet somehow we always got by. Once we started taking a higher pay with a consistent paycheck, suddenly we couldn't get by. Jesus is more than willing to give. He says it in Matthew 6, not to worry. He clothes the lilies, and feeds the birds. How much more will He do for you?
xo a girl who sleeps with the pastor