James MacDonald: We Resource for Jesus
James MacDonald is the founding pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel, which has grown to 13,000 people each weekend, meeting in six locations in Illinois.
Keep in mind, these are raw. I’ll be summarizing and organizing my thoughts over at ChurchMag at a later time. Meanwhile, here’s what I gathered from session one:
We’re all different. You’re different.
- We all have our ways.
- God has his ways.
2 Kings 4:1
Ministry requires a lot of things.
- All those things require – Money.
This is almost like a bad word to some people. If you think that, you’re not thinking Biblically.
Resourcing for Jesus:
1. We all face times of desperate need.
Mountains, valleys, times of lack.
When James got out of seminary, the way he thought about money and God’s resources was pathetic.
God’s thoughts about money and resources was far above James’ thoughts on the subject.
Set your expectations properly.
If you want to draw a dotted line to God for every season of hardship, ministry is going to be a tough assignment for you.
You’ve got to embrace that a lot of what God does starts with Square One.
“Beware of begging God for things you don’t need.”
$53 Million dollar property was given to James for $1.
- It was nowhere in the realm of what he was hoping for.
- Nowhere near what he could fathom.
2 Extreme views on money
- Prosperity theology - Money: God promises + blessing + proof of favor = pursue it. This is WRONG.
- Poverty theology - Money: God warns + curse + proof of compromise = renounce it. This is also WRONG. The biblical view of money
Gain it honestly. Give it generously. Multiply it faithfully. Use it effectively. Enjoy it carefully.
It’s not wrong to have, but it’s wrong when things have you.
2. God needs only what we have
God has already given you everything he’s asking of you.
- Fish & loaves, rock and sling, staff, etc.
Fish & loaves story
- The disciples tell Jesus the people are hungry. He tells them to ask the people if they have any food.
- They go survey 5,000 people and discover out of all of them they have 5 loaves and 2 fish.
- If you’re the disciples, coming back after surveying the crowd, are you thinking, “Man this was a great success”?
If you want to resource for Jesus– we all face times of need– God only needs what he’s already given us.
5 Things I Learned the Hard Way
- Pastors– keep your hands off the money.
- Not poverty, not prosperity– Generosity. Generosity breaks bondage to and fear of money. Prov. 11:24-25
- Money follows ministry.
- It’s good for people to be asked. You’re asking them to store treasure in Heaven.
- Measure and grow your giving.
You should always be asking yourself, “Does everything I own belong to God?”
We’re so afraid of offending lost people that we don’t challenge God’s people to grow in giving.
3. God does only what we can’t
Widow asks how many jars should she get– response is, “not too few”.
God miraculously provides. When you can’t do it yourself.
4. God fills only what we offer
God keeps giving himself into that which we keep bringing before him.
- There needs to be empty places.
- It hurts to hold up empty places to God. That’s a hard place to live, but that’s where God wants us to live.
- What do I have that I could bring? What can I do that I’ve not done?
James made some great points here– a lot to chew on. I love his heart, and I love his boldness. Was there anything above that struck you? You can leave a comment by clicking here.