Too often, I play the “if only” game regarding Special Gathering ministry.  One of my “if only’s” concerns funding.  You know the drill.  If only we had enough money for…The end of the sentence has a multiple of different variables. 

Yes.  I know that money is not enough to have a successful and godly ministry.  However, I occasionally think that I’d like to try to find out for myself.  Then something will happen to make me thankful for where I am.

A few weeks ago, I learned about a ministry that became fully funded.  They’ve become complacent regarding growth and future events.  At first, under the founder, there were little changes, except that the founder retired early because he was assured that the ministry would survive.  And they have survived but is only survival enough?

Additionally, a small church in our area was once the largest congregation in the county.  Years of transition have paid a costly toll.  Over the past 20 years, they have continually declined.  About five years ago, they inherited almost a million dollars.  They have lived for the past five years on this inheritance.  The pastor got a large raise; even, their missions funding increased.  Because there is a large campus, they hired a caregiver.  Now the money is depleted.  They will have a difficult time even surviving over the next few years.

In speaking to an elder, I asked him how long the church will be able to keep its microphones on.  He laughed.  “I’m not sure we should stay open,” he confessed.  He didn’t explain but I understood.  Is the congregation doing what God originally called them to do?  If not, is it time to close the door?

I walked back to my van, playing with my car keys.  I could not help but thank the Lord for struggles for survival.  Perhaps, as a ministry, we will one day be more than holy struggles.  However, slowing walking away from the elder, I confirmed to the Lord that His ways are wiser than mine.  I thanked him for the struggles and for his faithful answers to our prayers.