November 1, 2018

Not New Money – Reprioritizing Existing Spending

November 1, 2018


Matthew 14:13-21
This weekend’s reading: Matthew 14:13-21


Years ago, one church I pastored never raised more than $50,000 in its history.  But now they needed to raise $425,000 in one month to purchase an adjacent property. 
While praying for Christ’s guidance, the members decided to redirect their personal spending.  One member gave up daily Diet Dr. Pepper for three years choosing to give an equivalent amount to this project.  One family gave up “eating out” once a week.  One member bought a used car and gave the difference between the price of this used car and a new car. Several families gave up cable TV. 
Others made clothes, paintings, and crafts and donated the sales.  Others donated one of their weekly private music lessons, dance lessons, and massages.  All were very creative.
At the end of the month, the two-hundred members pledged or donated $440,000.  With this announcement, the congregation erupted in cheers, tears, and hugs. It was an average of $2,200 per family over a three-year period, or $733 a year or $14.10 a week, which was a lot for the members of this congregation.  They believed that Christ provided the abundance of money helping them re-prioritize their spending.
It still amazes me how together we can provide an abundance of resources when Christ helps us share our five loaves and two fish.


  • Are there some things in my life that are not as important as helping others through ministry?
  • How might I benefit if I surrendered some unhealthy parts of my lifestyle and used that time and/or money to help people who need it?
  • If I have been holding back, how might I love Jesus more through the ministries of BUMC?


  • Is there something we can give up as a family in order to shift our time, talents, and money to the ministries of our church?
  • If we have been holding back, is Jesus calling our family to do more?


Lord, Jesus Christ, you blessed us to be blessings.  Even though I don’t have as much as I’d like, I know that know that I have more than the overwhelming majority of people in this world.  Lord, Jesus, out of what abundance I have, help me share my resources to help you through the ministries of Brentwood United Methodist Church.  In your gracious name, I pray.  Amen.