23 Aug Who Makes It Rain?
I have never once caused it to rain in my nearly 40 years of stewardship practice here at TTG. I know who sends the rain and it is not me. However I do know what to do with the rain once God sends it. I have been in the irrigation business all these years. I also admit to an occasional attempt at “cloud seeding.” Yes, I’m trying to help God out a bit! This reveals the need to pause and ask myself the following question.
BHAQ (Big Harry Audacious Question):
DOES GOD REALLY NEED US TO ACCOMPLISH HIS TASKS HERE ON EARTH?
Please allow me to see if I can support that notion. In John 11, a compelling narrative is shared about Jesus and a very good friend. His name was Lazarus. Bethany was about 4 miles from Jerusalem and word got to Jesus that his friend was ill, and then word came that he had died. In fact, by the time Jesus made it to Bethany his friend had been dead for 4 days.
He promises Mary and Martha their brother will rise again. Of course they are somewhat in disbelief. How? Just like me sometimes they might think, “God, can you really make it rain for our client who needs it so desperately”? Hang on…Martha and Mary are about to get a “Yes.”
They take Jesus to the tomb of Lazarus and He cries. He loved his friend and the sisters. Then he makes an incredible statement to those gathered at the wake. He says to friends and family, “Roll Away the Stone!” Eight chapters later in the Gospel, the Romans have posted guards around the tomb to make sure another stone does not get moved. But in chapter 20 Mary confirms the stone has been moved, God did it! And Jesus could have prayed to His Father in Heaven and requested the stone be moved. He did not.
He wanted the people of Bethany, friends and family to be a part of this transformational miracle. He clearly asked them to roll away the stone!
When you ask a donor for a gift, in some instances a large gift, you are inviting them to be a part of a transformational process. Their gifts allow ministry to take place. Their gifts have an eternal impact as people participate in your ministry. Your clients realize all of us are doing this so they can experience the love of Jesus and spend eternity with God in heaven. Education, Missions, Mercy Ministries – it’s all the same. You want a transformational experience with those you are called to serve.
Psalm 127:1 states clearly “Except the Lord build the ministry we labor in vain”. We cry out for the rain of annual, capital and endowment needs, but we often forget to involve HIM in the process. God doesn’t have a checkbook. Everything is His! But I also never saw a check drawn on the “Bank of Heaven.”
Instead, God has temporarily entrusted resources to us, His children. He wants us to be involved in this transformational-stewardship process. “Write a check,” He says to us, “See how I will bless these folks and see how I will bless you.”
So does He want us to be involved? Yes! Does He need us? Yes. God calls us to be “Holy Rollers” – to roll away the stone. In doing so, we join Him in this eternal-transformational ministry process.
Author: Pat McLaughlin, Founder and CEO of The Timothy Group