Before I got hired at Mars Hill, I spent a few years in Qatar and the U.A.E. working for Middle Eastern royalty. These were billion-dollar businesses with thousands of employees. Money was no object. We could ring up the charges, rack up personal expenses, and the Sheikh just kept filling the account. It was awesome.
Working for a church, my salary is no longer what it used to be, nor is my job. I’m analyzing $4.90 lattes and scrutinizing nearly every dollar that goes out the door to ensure that our staff stewards the church’s resources well. It gets tedious at times, but the little stuff matters to me, because it matters to Jesus.
It’s the Little Things
Our money follows what we care about, plain and simple. God asks for our best, not our leftovers, not because he needs our money but because he wants our heart. He knows that anything we give our lives to will disappoint, except for Jesus.
We could plant hundreds of churches. We could see thousands more people meet Jesus. We could see cities transformed by the gospel. As a collective body of believers, God has given us the money we need. The question is, what will we do with it?
Sacrifice, by definition, is usually difficult.
Jesus has been abundantly generous to us. He’s given us the free gift of himself apart from any good work or good stewardship of our own; in fact, he gave himself up for us when we were deep in debt and were enemies of God. Now, we get to join in his mission of reconciling the world to himself and building his church.
Whether or not that weekly dinner outing or that cup of coffee is a justifiable expense, most of us have a few comforts or entitlements that we could sacrifice for the good of Jesus’ mission. I keep coming back to the food and beverage thing in part because it’s one area where most of us Americans could easily cut back.
Sacrifice, by definition, is usually difficult. I can think of many reasons why my last job was easier than my current one. And yet I can honestly say that there’s literally nowhere else in the world I’d rather be than Mars Hill. People are meeting Jesus—lots of people. I get to be a part of that, which is much more awesome than an expense account, and I invite you to join me.
Sutton Turner is the executive pastor at Mars Hill Church.