I didn’t know what to say. The comment seemed to come out of no where. Have you ever had one of those conversations? The words struck at your heart. You know there was truth in there. But you also find it hard to completely agree.
While driving around on a busines trip, Jeff McBee and I were talking about ministry, leadership and missions. Jeff is a believer and somebody that I respect. Jeff also has plenty of “experience” with negative church stuff.
Jeff said, “I am so tired of churches missing the point. Like bake sales, oh yeah, there’s a Biblical way to fund world missions.”
I tried to get a better understanding of where he was coming from and to get a slight concession from him. But Jeff was pretty insistant on his view that bake sales and car washes are man’s way of trying to do a good work. He did not believe it follows Biblical patterns or reflects God’s plan.
Jeff was not condeming baked goods or clean cars. Instead, he questioned the heart motive and lack of faith for God to provide without men helping Him out. Sure, God wants us to use our money, talents, time and resources to further God’s Kingdom. But Jesus was also clear that He would build His Church.
When we do things with our own ability and remove the need for faith, we can rob God of His moment to do something miraculous and get in the way of His glory being revealed in that instance. Creation will still declare the glory of God even if we point to our own successes.
Jeff’s comment really shook me because I had always thought of fund raisers as OK as long as it was for a good cause. His challenge focused on making room for God to work not criticizing noble efforts by well-meaning Christians. He was concerned because many Christians tend to turn to everyone else first but God. We only really trust God when we are out of other options.
While not all missions fundraisers are bad, I am starting to agree that many of these activities are far from God’s best. Christians should take all cares to God first. We can trust provision to fundraisers and ideas borrowed from corporate America after released by the Holy Spirit to do so. Instead of sponsor a bake sale, maybe God wants everyone in the fellowship to donate $20 dollars. That would raise more money in many instances.
Is the real reason that ministries and churches have to hold bake sales is that too many Christians don’t give to support missions. What do you think?