HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?
There is a renewed interest in personal and ministry finances within the Spirit-filled Church. In some areas it is urgent. While honest ministry leaders have always striven to maintain good stewardship, the question is being raised today by many, including a congressional investigation of several high-profile leaders: “How much is enough? How much is too much?”
With the prosperity movement’s impact, a growing interest in finances has produced great, almost fanciful, expectations and some questionable practices from some ministry superstars. Opulent lifestyles in the name of “faith” have brought a slur on the good name of the Church.
HARVEST REQUIRES MORE
Let it be said that the current interest in finances is not all bad. Many Christians are beginning to realize that the tithe and offerings income streams of the Church are not enough to accomplish the harvest expectations that the Word and prophetic declarations place upon this generation. Because of this, they are investing large amounts of money into legitimate business ventures to raise greater amounts of capital. They are doing this not primarily for personal gain, but to invest in Kingdom expansion and ministry growth. This has resulted in a new way of thinking about wealth-building and Kingdom giving.
BIG VISION REQUIRES BIG FINANCES
When one’s vision and ministry opportunities are larger than one’s present economic capabilities, he must develop a greater income stream if he wants to accomplish the vision God has given him. Many men and women of God are realizing this and taking unusual steps to achieve their dream. No doubt some will be criticized as “out of the ministry and into the world of money-making.” However, they must continue to find ways to build significant streams of financial resources if they are to move forward in their calling. (Jabez Prayer)
MANAGE EARTH’S RESOURCES FROM HEAVEN’S POINT OF VIEW
God mandated in Genesis One that man was to bring the whole created order into a place of responding to the order of heaven. (1:26–28). He expects us to rule over creation and take dominion over it as His caretakers and stewards. We are to manage earth’s resources from heaven’s point of view. We are not owners but stewards of the one Owner, God Himself. (Psalm 24:1) It is His stated will that men are to be restored to saving fellowship with Himself. (John 3:16; 1Peter 3:9) So he has designed that we use earth’s resources for His purposes. However, we must first control those resources in order to use them. The present emphasis on wealth-building is a genuine move of the Spirit in this direction.
RIGHT USES OF GOD’S RESOURCES
God provides resources for us so that 1) we can use some for ourselves; 2) share some with others; and 3) return some back to Him for Kingdom purposes. (Isaiah 55:10 and 2Cor. 9:10-11) These are all legitimate uses of God’s resources. All that we steward and give comes from Him. (1Chronicles 29:14) We must not allow a spirit of greed to ruin this current move of God.
Wealth acquisition is very important. However, wealth distribution is also critical to serving God’s purposes with our lives and resources. Simply acquiring wealth is not enough. It requires biblical and compassionate distribution to achieve Kingdom significance. A man’s capacity to receive is determined by his faithfulness to give. These present-day entrepreneurs, whether ministers or so-called laymen, who are creating revenue streams for Kingdom purposes, are doing God’s work. They are todays’ “Josephs” who will be able to accomplish great things with what is today the “world’s wealth.” We need to pray that Deut. 8:18 will characterize all they do.
“Celebrate and remember God, for it is He Who gives you power to create wealth so that He can fulfill His Covenant with our fathers.”