Words are nice. But often they don’t really say much.
I recently celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary. I spent months planning a trip that included as much of what my wife loves as I could fit into the two days we had to celebrate together. And I spent money — a lot of money — on making it as special as possible.
It was a joy to plan, and the money was a joy to spend.
Why? Because I love my wife, and talk is cheap. I could have waited until the last minute, grabbed a card from Walmart and hastily scribbled “I love you,” but I’m not sure she would have felt the meaning of those words in that gesture. I wanted my gifts and the investment in them to express in a small way how important she is to me. Talking about it means little. The money I spent on her was a tangible way of showing my love.
We will spend money on what we most value
Jesus put it this way in the Sermon on the Mount: “Your heart will always be where your treasure is“ (Matthew 6:21, CEV). To rephrase it, Jesus is saying that the things we most heavily invest in — financially — prove what is most important to us.
This is why EGM has gone “all in” on the conviction that our national ministry teams in the 13 countries where we are serving MUST receive local funding from their own Christian communities.
EGM exists because we believe that every child deserves the chance to respond to God’s Word in their real life. Our ministry is transformational, culturally relevant, and locally led. The final piece of the puzzle is seeing the local Christian community become so committed to effective children’s ministry in their churches that they’re willing to invest whatever money they can into it.
A financial stake in ministry makes it personal
We’ve been leading the charge on this for several years now. Some have been more receptive than others. But as we’ve stood firm on this conviction, we’ve seen something amazing happen: the more local funding (and less U.S. financial support) a national ministry receives, the faster it grows.
Why? Because the national ministry becomes more dependent on God to provide local funding through local Christians who have a heart for discipling local children. These passionate supporters begin to share about the ministry with others, and the ministry quickly begins to go viral. When that happens, more children and churches are impacted.
Matching our hearts with our wallets
So, here are a couple questions. I want to challenge you to think about this important principle.
- What are you most passionate about?
- Could you prove that by how you financially invest in it?
I guess there’s one more thing. After answering those two questions, I challenge you to make a financial investment into whatever it is that you’re passionate about. It could be your church, your family, a ministry (maybe even EGM), or any other cause. But in the end, I want to encourage you to “put your money where your mouth is.”
There’s a reason that phrase has become a cliché. Take some time to think about it.