Pondering a of a Pastors wife:
Many of us have observed recently empty shelves in our favorite market. It is strange and almost surreal in our land of abundance. We have read or watched stories of hoarding of goods, some of which seem unlikely choices. The global pandemic of 2020 is revealing many deeply rooted anxieties, fears and in all honesty, sin and selfishness.
As a believer, we can observe the cultural propensity of hoarding “stuff” in a time of crises and smugly draw conclusions, while at the same time overlook what may be surfacing as flagrant hoarding in our own sphere of operation. Our conduct simply looks different than packages of dry goods and rolls of toilet tissue (though we are capable of that as well in any given moment or circumstance!). We can become grossly vulnerable to a form of “hoarding” financial resources in our own quest for survival. Our natural propensity is to grow sluggish as individuals in times of uncertainty and/or loss regarding tithing, giving, sharing. And in the same manner, our churches can do the same corporately, as institutional survival becomes the focus rather than participation in a Kingdom.
I am a life-long convictional Southern Baptist. For me, it is Theological convictional, but it is also an operational conviction. We Biblically agree on significant tenants of the faith, and we lock arms to accomplish together significant commandments of our Savior.
As my seemingly small financial gift is poured into the same bowl as another’s seemingly small contribution, and another’s, and another’s – is soon becomes significant. Though my individual resources do not allow for me personally to subsidize the training, equipping, deployment and sustaining of even one missionary globally, as my gift combines with others – we can. Together we truly can do more.
We, as SBC (and MBC) Churches are gifted with an unprecedented window of opportunity to advance the Gospel during a unique time in history. Right now, as in concert, the entire world is faced with the dark reality of death & hopelessness.
As the scales of works-oriented religions, or faithless existence, are all falling to the ground, the Gospel of Christ can and is delivering eternal hope.
So – we as individuals must not withhold our tithes out of fear for our personal tomorrow, just as we as churches must not withhold our mission giving. Instead we sacrifice to increase – because we have been called to this hour in history.
As Christians and as American churches, we can do with less so those yet waiting to hear can have more – Christ Himself! We must not individually or corporately as a body of believers, allow ourselves to become faithless or cowardly. We must choose to faithfully give forward when we are unable to “go”, modeling faith and courage. We can have confidence that our needs will be provided. We have the privilege of being a conduit to provide for the greatest need the world has ever known – delivery of the Gospel of Christ. Our SBC Cooperative Program is our collective opportunity to do this in such a crucial hour.
What a sacred calling we have to advance the Gospel in the season of Covid-19 – let us steward it well and sacrificially.