What to do about giving?- How one house church sent out 8 people to 9 countries while helping start over a dozen house churches at home
When we started the adventure of house church 4 years ago there was a question of what to do with our finances. We wanted every one to pray and ask the Lord what we should do. Every one in our house church agreed that our giving should first and foremost go to me. The joy every one was getting from supporting me was humbling. It began with a small percent of a salary and within six months our one house church was giving me as much as 60 % of a salary. My ministry had already expanded way beyond our house church to coaching and helping others start house churches. Tina, my wife, and I felt that our personal giving should not go back to the same pot from which my salary came and we began to pray about where to give. There were opportunities for giving to the poor and those needing funds for counseling and other ministries. We had faithfully put our 10% in the offering plate with some sense of satisfaction all our Christian lives. Now, a sense of excitement began to take the place of mere satisfaction as we committed to sending our portion out. Once we began giving directly to people, we experienced more deeply than ever before that it is more blessed to give than receive. As for the whole group, when some one had a personal need, or was going on a missionary trip we found our selves giving beyond our normal portions. We found ourselves talking about how to come up funds, even selling things to help support the need/trip. Beyond giving me a good portion of a salary, helping each other and giving to the poor, we helped support 8 people to go to 9 countries for total of 28 weeks. All of this was in about 18 months. We were the missionary church. I remember thinking to myself that we could not have done this when I was pastoring a church of 120 people. I am still supported financially and this has allowed me to be a catalyst to over a dozen house churches in the Denver area. Meanwhile I have had the privilege of being part the Denver network of housechurch planters as well as having a role in seeing three different networks of housechurches from around the state. Not to mention a trip to Kenya training brothers and sisters that has resulted in 100’s of housechurches starting in the last 15 months. For more on information on Kenya click on http://www.simplechurchescare.com/reports.html. Lastly, because of being supported, we have been able to launch The School on the Way. School on the Way is a New Testament household community model of Education. We offer a high level of scholarship in a Hebrew style of dialogue and interaction with an emphasis on listening to and obeying what the Spirit is saying. At present we feel this is very strategic time for training others in the spontaneous expansion of housechurch. For Courses and more information – www.newwinecommunity.org It is simple math that when you reduce the expenses of running a church to zero, you have a ton of money to give directly to ministry and needs. Not only is this the New Testament model but it is a wise use of money.
Learning as we go,
Jan Cowles – House Church coach