Growing a family.
"Honey? What do two lines mean?!" We...were...pregnant! Both of our kids came as unexpected blessings during already full seasons of life. When you start adding family members, you quickly realize that relationships require resources and households don't thrive on accident.
So how can we live effectively on mission as God's family when, in fact, that very mission is to grow/develop a healthy family? How do we fund a Kingdom movement?
Give. Share. Make.
It's the most familiar concept. If you've spent any length of time as a church attendee, you've seen the offering plate pass down your aisle and heard the old "Bring the tithe into the storehouse..." passage. Traditionally, the needs of the community are met through the donations of a few generous folks.
Should we continue to instruct people to give? Yes. There's New Testament precedent for giving out of love and thanks, not obligation, toward Kingdom cause. (CLICK HERE for more on "Tithing.") But in a healthy community where "each part does its work", an economic model based on giving alone is incomplete. But before we move on...
How does giving work? We break it down into 3 parts. Our goal, once we've reached basic operational sustainability, is for (1) one-third of our giving to go toward our workers (those giving significant amounts of their time, energy, and talents), (2) one-third toward our immediate community (keeping the "household" healthy and engaged with each other), and (3) one-third toward supporting our surrounding community (impacting the neighborhoods around us). Simple.
"All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions and gave to anyone who had need." -Acts 2:44
"All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had." -Acts 4:32
What was happening here? The church had grown from a few to thousands overnight and it continued to multiply every single day. In a sense, they just delivered a shipload of "oops" babies! Can you imagine the economic reality of this situation? (I highly doubt that the early church would have survived a Give-only model.) Everyone pitched in to care for each other by sharing what they had. It wasn't some progressive political idealism at play. It was family.
How does sharing work? We're forming a habit of making needs in our community known. Some folks might want to be proactive in their sharing too, listing available resources and potential exchanges of practical items. All it takes is a little humility, generosity and communication. Simple.
Inventive and resourceful people don't care whether they get their paycheck from "the ministry" or somewhere else. We want to foster a culture of creativity where our people, including the leadership, are constantly uncovering new ways of funding an outward-focused movement.
Practically, this means that we don't view bi-vocational leaders to be second-class leaders in our community. I suspect some of our finest teachers, prophets, evangelists (etc) will be! It also means that we want to dedicate resources toward creative ideas that will take place outside the "four walls of the church". We want to see people thriving in their ingenuity, effecting change with their own two hands.
How does making work? We've got enormous plans we're still ironing out details for. In short, we envision a reality where dozens of local businesses are launched by the L24 family into our surrounding community. Stay posted!