What if You Supported an Entire Missionary Family?

from wikipedia.org

John Wesley (from wikipedia.org)

As a young man, John Wesley calculated that 28 pounds a year would care for his own personal needs. Since prices remained basically the same, he was able to keep at that level of expenditure throughout his lifetime.

When Wesley first made that decision, his income was 30 pounds a year. In later years sales from his books would often earn him 1400 pounds a year, but he still lived on 28 pounds and gave the rest away.

Wesley was a single man for most of his life and had no children so he did not deal with the financial challenges of raising a family. But the idea is good. What if you determined a base family budget, adjusting for children and inflation, and lived on that amount? And what if any additional income was given away?

Richard J. Foster proposes this and other ways of thinking in his classic book, Freedom of Simplicity.

What if a family decides on a lean, trim, and realistic budget that provides for retirement, education, and other concerns and then gives any excess to the Church or other worthy causes?

What if a husband and wife discipline themselves to live on one income and give away the second one? What if a couple lived on one salary and supported a missionary family with the other salary? What would happen to the worldwide missionary enterprise if each Christian couple gave their second salary to missions?

What if you evaluated your income and determined ways to simplify your life and budget so that you can live on half of your salary? What if you gave away the other half of your income?

What if you put a lump-sum of money in an investment product, i.e., stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, etc. and regularly gave the earnings to a worthy cause? What if you flipped a car or a house for the purposes of giving away the proceeds instead of keeping the profit for yourself?

What if you had another source of income like a part-time job at night or weekends or a home-based business that went straight to charity?

We often think that the ministry of money is for the wealthy. But it is not. No doubt large donations are welcome and often needed by worthy organizations but ministries and organizations are supported largely by ordinary people with limited budgets.

The requirement to be a generous giver isn’t a large inheritance, a successful business, an informative stock tip, or a lucky lottery ticket.

The requirement to be a generous giver isn’t great resources, but a humble willingness to be a blessing.

What if?

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2 Responses to “What if You Supported an Entire Missionary Family?”

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  1. Keith says:

    What if Christians thought that Jesus was focused on making us an abundant group of peoples? e.g., I have set a business goal to give away a million dollars a year to non-profit organizations. I think we should focus on what we give away, not what we give up.

    • Gene says:

      Hey Keith,
      Thanks for reading! I’m with you. Are you familiar with R.G. LeTourneau? He was a great Christian businessman whose goal was to become a reverse tither, i.e., live on 10% and give God 90%. He did it too! However, for some people who aren’t gifted with entrepreneurial abilities, another way to create more income is by reducing expenses. So, I think we should earn all we can and give all we can.

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