Sunday, November 1, 2009

Money is One Reason (I Like House Church)

So, today I sent out another email to our house churches in Vineyard at Home, our house church network, telling them that THEY NEED TO SPEND MONEY on kingdom stuff. I get all warm and tingly inside just writing those words! Do you have any idea how much fun it is as a church leader to write church members in order to ask them to please spend more money?

The funds they are being asked to spend (distribute, etc) are a sizeable portion of their own giving. To see how this works and how simple it is, you can simply visit our website at and click on the "money" link on the right hand bottom of the home page.

The opportunity to do church "organically" means that THEY (not me) decide how the funds are to be spent as long as it is in accordance with our mission to "empower everyday people to take the ministry of Jesus to everyday places". In the year plus since a number of us "went house church", this has been one of the big payoffs (no pun intended).

It was so cool to be a part of a pow-wow that includes teenagers and children and to decide together how to spend "God's money" on stuff we know God values! For example, our Foothill Ranch church is giving a $1,000 gift to a family we know to be in need. In addition, $2,000 is being budgeted by this group to bless the Arms of Love childrens home in the Philippines at Christmas time. And there are a couple other initiatives that will be explored in the next couple weeks. And it's not just money. It was decided that the youth and kids will work with the adults to customize gifts to the children in the AoL home including group shopping trips, handmade cards, etc. If I sound excited it is because I AM!!!!

Years ago, I was taught about the well-known "Pareto Principle." This is the old truism that "20% of the people do 80% of the work" and "20% of the people give 80% of the funds", and so on. One of the great joys of doing church organically has been to see this Pareto Principle go down in flames as literally every member -- including children and teens -- participate DIRECTLY in church life and mission. This is a dream come true.

We are definitely still in "pioneer mode" as we figure out how to walk out the vision God has given us but, I gotta tell you, learning how to steward resources as a house church family has been one of the bright spots in the journey.

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