Sun, 3 January 2010
This podcast includes: Brad Layland and Pat Rhoades discuss the Bible and money with Greg Lehman.
This is part 2 of a 4-part series. Greg Lehman is Divisional Field Development Director for the Eastern Division. Greg helps areas get financially strong so they can reach more kids. This is part of our service charge at work. The players in Field Development have to raise money just like you in the field do for their areas, for camperships, and to cover part of their salaries and expenses. In Young Life, we know that we are totally dependent on God for everything. It doesn’t matter how slick our banquets are, how good our pitch is, or how good a TDS plan we have. It’s ultimately God and the Holy Spirit that comes in and makes it all happen. Our job and your job out in podcast land is to create an environment for the Holy Spirit to work. That environment is created by praying and lifting up people before the Lord and by surrendering our lives and asking, “Lord, what do you want to see happen?” We create that environment and it’s up to the Lord to show up. When Pat came on staff 23 years ago, he came from a very proud family and his father did not want Pat “begging for money” as he saw it. So Pat grew up with this mindset that he can’t be begging for money. And that couldn’t be further from what God wants us to do. We are introducing people to the most amazing, exciting, passionate, life changing product you’ll ever see and that’s Jesus Christ and it’s not about begging. If you feel you’re begging for money then you’ve got the wrong theology. This is what the Lord is doing. The Lord’s got all the money and our job is to seek him and he’ll provide.
We have to be careful not to divorce the spirituality of fundraising from raising money. That the Lord has called us to this and it’s a spiritual endeavor. And how much he takes care of us makes shows up in Luke 12:28 where he says, “God clothes the grass which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire. So how much more will God clothe you?” It’s just an amazing thought that God takes care of us and we can rely on him and depend on him and rest in that.
Brad said, “It’s just so hard. We hear that God is our provider but I live in
In Mathew 6, Jesus talks to a student, saying, “Do not worry and say, ‘What shall I eat or what shall I drink?” And later on he says, “…Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, tomorrow will worry about itself, each day has enough troubles of its own.” So our job is to focus on what the Lord is doing today in our lives and to actually create an atmosphere to become involved. Pat’s upbringing was totally, “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and if you have not it’s because you don’t get out there and do it”. So there wasn’t a lot of room for the Lord in the midst of that. Pat’s had to learn over the last 23 years that this is God’s deal, not his deal.
That’s an incredible lesson for us all to remember. When things are great, when you have a great banquet, your area’s six months ahead, when club is big and you have two bus loads going to camp, it’s easy to say, “Well God’s in control and I trust him.” It’s because you’re basically looking around and the world is saying you’re great, so then God is great, but the question is what do you do when your area’s in deficit, and we’re struggling. What is our response? What is God telling us in response to a financial crisis in our area?
Pat really believes that the Lord is in the midst of everything. If you’re in deficit in your area, you ask the Lord, “What are you telling me? What are you trying to teach me? Who do you want me to talk to?” This is an opportunity for Him to show up. When we’re in big fat surpluses, I know when I was an area director and I had a surplus, I felt like I was pretty good, like I was doing a good job. But when I went into deficit that’s when the Lord really got a hold of me and got my attention. I felt the closest to the Lord in the midst of those deficits.
In second Chronicles, chapter 1, the whole verses 8 – 12 section, Solomon is praying to God and he prays for wisdom rather than riches, Solomon says, “Now give me wisdom and knowledge that I may go out and come before this people, for who can rule this great people of yours?” God said to Solomon, “Because you had this in mind and you did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those that hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you’ve asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule my people over whom you have made me king…” God is honoring him because he asked for wisdom. God’s going to honor him. So those of you who are on area committees or area directors that are struggling, I encourage you not to pray for winning the lottery. Don’t pray that Oprah will read your letter and send you a huge check. Don’t pray for money. We need to pray for wisdom. We don’t need to go out and stand on a soapbox and yell, “Give to Young Life, Give to young Life.” We need to be wise and ask God to show us the people who would like to invest in our ministry and we can give them the chance to be a part of it. And then, wow, great, they give us some money and we give them some stories and changed lives and we’re all blessed.
There’s the message in Mathew, “…Seek first his kingdom of righteousness and all else will be given to you as well.” We’re giving away a brand new Message New Testament to the first person who answers the question, “What’s your favorite verse in the Bible about money?” So send those in and we’re going to randomly pick a person and send you a Bible. Just send it to Fielddevelopment@sc.younglife.org . Remember to maximize your time for ministry with kids, you can spend some time with the Word and learn what God has to say in the Bible about money.