Win Win Win
Reflecting on God’s Kingdom Economy also requires a look at the source of the Transformation. We can all agree that God is our provider but we equally recognize that he uses others to help roll out the provision. When a socialist in our current culture makes demands and accusations about anything you have of value, it is important to step back and help them understand how the economy really works.
I am a car guy, so let’s use an expensive car as the example. The argument goes something like this: “You should have bought a used Prius and given the rest of the money to charity or to the greater good” (which usually means them). God’s economy is concerned around the mechanics of many people winning in a transaction not just taking from one to give to another. When confronted by the modern Socialist today, a proper response is to remind them how many jobs you helped to create. Here is a short list so you get the point. All of the following people were employed in the process of your car purchase: Shareholders/investors of the car manufacture, executives, office workers, mechanics, foreman, line workers, parts suppliers (too numerous to mention), sales person, garage mechanic, detailer, aftermarket parts supplier, and taxes supporting the state or federal employees. God likes a win, win, win economy. He thinks we should plant a seed and get a 30, 60, or 100 fold return. If many are called and few chosen, we clearly should avoid the socialist mentality of everyone having the same amount of goods.
Another important point to consider in the source of the transforming economy, is the often preached “transfer of wealth from the wicked to the righteous.” If Kingdom business people and their support team do not understand who the wicked are and who the righteous are we can easily miss this one. For starters, in Luke 19:11-27 we read the story of the Minas.
The Parable of the Minas
11 Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. 12 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten [e]minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’
15 “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ 19 Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’
20 “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. 21 For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’
24 “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ 25 (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) 26 ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 27 But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”
How many Christians have you met who think that the wicked are the heathen? Give those folks a break as they behave like a heathen because they do not know any better. We are to love them and point them to Christ and then disciple them to maturity. This passage of Scripture reveals to us that the wicked are within our own camp. In Jesus’ parable he called servants from His own house. The “wicked” one was the one who did not go into business to make more wealth. And contrary to the Social Gospel being preached today (rather than just The Gospel), the wicked servant had his talent given to the one who had the most. The idea that “to he who has, more will be given” flies in the face of the media and government promoting socialism. Don’t be the wicked servant. Invest, run a business, and plant opportunity seed any chance you get.
The “X” (Multiplication) Factor
To transform our economy with God, we need to look for ways to multiply. Much of the Scriptures point to multiplication not division. Christians need to work together. When we do we will see city, state, and country prosperity through our multiplied efforts.
One piece of God’s Transforming Economy is charity. In order to have the maximum impact in your region, look for ways for your charitable interests to be multiplied. Too often we default to writing a check to cover a need. Jesus once said you will always have the poor among you. Therefore, it is imperative to not be motivated by a need that exists but rather to listen to Holy Spirit and sow seed in the direction God is doing something already. Again the Parable of the Minas, the Lord is giving to the one who is accomplishing the most. Look for ministries, organizations and individuals who are having an impact and align your giving in their direction. Giving is more than writing a check however. Pray into the harvest you want to see with the seed that you sow. Many Christians have faithfully given 10% of their incomes and are still broke. They give without praying into the harvest. You have heard it said you can’t out give God… This means that if you give you will receive. But if you do not know how to receive or declare the results of your giving, then your harvest can be missed.
Innovate, Collaborate, Create
Think outside of the box. I can’t tell you how many ministries or non-profits spend most of their time on fundraising. It is difficult to keep a steady flow of cash coming in the door if you only rely on cash donations. Look for ways to create a business within the non-profit to provide perpetual funding. For years, we ran the Healing Rooms in our local area. We set up a bookstore with hard to find Christian material and teaching CD’s in the lobby and sold enough material every year to pay for 4 months of rent each year. That was 4 month’s less rent money we had to rely on cash gifts for.
For transformation to occur in your area, you must partner businesses and non-profits together to create a bottom line of sustainability. If you don’t, the businesses grow weary of all the hands out looking for help and the non-profits are stressed out trying to pay their bills. Existing businesses can join with non-profits they feel called to support and look for ways to create a unique business opportunity that will provide sustainability to both.
God loves a cheerful giver and he loves multiplication. You can do this together. Look for ways to leverage to create additional resources. Recently, I have trademarked a way to leverage the retained earnings of a corporate balance sheet to provide future resources to non-profits within the community in much the same manner as creating an endowment fund. Be creative. God is the creator and you are made in His image. Create and you will see transformation in your economy!
Mark Gurley has been a financial advisor for 30 years in addition to being a bank consultant. He is an ordained minister who lives with his family in Grand Rapids, MI. He travels extensively and is a regular speaker at churches and Christian events. Mark is the director for the State of Michigan for The Oak Initiative based in Fort Mill , SC. He also is the Grassroots Vice Chair of the Michigan Republican Party. He is the former director and founder of The Healing Rooms of Grand Rapids.