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It's not about the money

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I have been asking God recently about what he wants me to focus on at St Philip’s. In the midst of all the many tasks that need to be done to help St Philip’s run smoothly, is there something specific that I need to attend to? When asking this I have been thinking about my love of teaching and how I might use that at St Philip’s.

Earlier this week I was looking at our website and saw again that our blog posts are very out of date. Later that day as I walked to the car I was thinking about writing a blog series on ‘Resource’- our current teaching series at Whole Church Gatherings. This was not a new thought. I then got to the car, got in and turned on the radio and the first sentence I heard was something like, ‘It’s all about resource’. I smiled and took this as confirmation that I should get going on the blog series.

In the words of the wonderful Jessie J, ‘It’s not about the money’. When we start to think about the question of resource, how we will resource the things we need to do or the things we feel God is asking us to do, we quickly begin to think about money and whether we have enough money. We do need to consider money as we venture out on new things, but I’m learning that this is not the first question we need to ask.

So, what should we start by asking?

A good starting point is to ask, ‘What do I already have?’

What resources do I already have that I could begin to use? Are there any physical resources that are currently not being used that could be put to work? Maybe resources that I am saving up for a rainy day? When we release resources that we have had for a while it can unblock the flow of money. I have learned that like the manna in the desert that some of the Israelites stored for the next day that then went mouldy, so too resources that we are storing away 'just in case' can go mouldy or stagnate. We need to learn to see resources in terms of a flow. Collecting some pools of resource is fine, but we need to be alert to any pools that are starting to stagnate and consider how we can get the flow of resource and money moving again.

Another helpful question to ask is, ‘What can I begin to do?’

Rather than waiting for all the resources to come in before we start doing anything, we can usually make a start. It may be just taking some initial steps to test the water and see if God is opening something up for us. It may be using the money we have to pay for the first phase of a project. It may be getting some quotes for work that needs to be done. Rather than waiting for everything to be in place before we start pushing forward we can take some small steps towards what we feel God is saying. As is commonly quoted, 'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.'

It is also important to ask, ‘Who could I connect with?’

Connections are so important. We are not called to this journey of discipleship alone. Who can we talk to who has been on this sort of journey before? What did they learn and how did they go about resourcing it? We might also think about who could join us in this journey? Are there friends with a similar heart? Are there others who would be happy to help? Unless we connect with others we won’t find these things out.

You see, if you just start with the money question you may quickly decide you don’t have enough and so not get started on the journey. And the fact is we don’t need all the money right at the start, we just need enough for the next step. God wants to work with us, go with us on the journey, show us His gracious abundant provision as we step out in faith. If He gave us everything up front we wouldn’t get to journey with Him in the same way.

So instead of ‘Do I have enough money?’, start with these three questions:

‘What do I already have?’

'What can I do, right now, as a first step?'

'Who could I connect with?'

The answers to these three questions should get you going on the journey, a journey that will teach you so much about the way God’s Kingdom resource works.