The Importance of "Ministry Money"

by Alecia on May 19, 2010

When my husband and I were first married, our pastor told us a great story about how he and his wife always kept a “Ministry Money” jar.  They would put money in there when they could and allotted that money to be used for “ministry” purposes only.  What I loved most about his story was that he wasn’t talking about just charities!!  He was talking about individual people.  He said they used the money once, for example, to repair a flat tire for a couple in their bible study who just didn’t have the funds to pay for it (anonymously, of course).

Since that wonderful meeting with Pastor Joe, Chris and I have set aside a percentage of our income each month to our own “Ministry Fund”.  Over the years, we have used this money for tons of great things – donating to non-profits in the wake of natural disasters (World Vision’s Haiti fund, for example), we use funds from it on a regular basis to sponsor two children through World Vision, and we have had the immense pleasure to be the Lord’s hands and feet on a case-by-case basis when others are in need!

Having the flexibility to dip into this fund whenever we hear of a friend in need (or a friend of a friend, etc), has been a blessing to us, personally, in addition to benefiting those to whom we give.  We have purchased toys for children of families struggling to make ends meat during the holidays.  We have sent gift cards to individuals out of work.  We have donated to funds when a loved one has passed away leaving a family in a financial crisis.  The list goes on and on.

When possible, we try to give the money anonymously, and never expect a “thank you” or gift of gratitude in response.  The money we set aside allows us to fulfill Jesus’ request of taking care of the “least of these” (Matt 25:40).  Now before you go on thinking “Oh, they’re so generous.  I wish we had the extra funds to toss around like that.” – I want you to know that even in our most difficult days, when we were living off of money supplied by others, we still set aside our spare change and “coupon money” when possible.  The fund grew over time and though we were not able to dip into it for every need we knew of, it was there as a possibility.

So, let me encourage you to sit down and examine your finances.  See if there are funds that you could set aside – in a jar, a tin, or a separate bank account – so that you too can be a testament to others, when the opportunity arises, that the Lord values their “worth more than many sparrows” (Matt 10:29 – 31).

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura Bailey May 19, 2010 at 7:11 pm

That is a GREAT idea! A blessing in so many ways: for the giver and the receiver! Thanks for putting that on your blog (which I read regularly, thanks to my daughter-in-law, Beth!)
Laura
ljbmomof5@aol.com

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Mo May 19, 2010 at 10:01 pm

that is GREAT! We always donate to non-profits throughout the year, but this year I made a space in our budget to set aside money for when friends and family ask us to make donations to causes they are supporting too. I will have to go back into our budget and see about making another space for something like what you all do; you never know when someone will be in need, and it would be so lovely to be able to help them out!

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Anonymous May 19, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Thank you for sharing this. I really needed to read this today.

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glenda09 May 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm

What a wonderful idea and a great blessing! THANK YOU!!!! ;)

Reply

Anonymous May 20, 2010 at 4:41 pm

This is a great post… Thanks

Reply

jessi May 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm

We do this actually in a big plastic old grape juice bottle and label it with what we're saving for (ours right now is specific:
http://www.home4children.com/contact_us.htm)and post a Bible verse on the bottle and the kids decorate with some stickers. We have the kids help by putting in money as well.
The kids at the home above cannot go to school unless they have tennis shoes, so every ten dollars actually sends a kid to school! That is something very tangible, (shoes, school, kids) for my children to understand, so they love to help. In fact, now when they find change, they say, "This is for the poor children in India," and run and drop it in the bottle. If you ask them about it, they really will tell you that it's to buy poor children tennis shoes.

Thanks for the post, Mrs. Stanley.

Reply

Jamie Laslo May 20, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Yes! Dear Pastor Joe and the "Jesus Fund." What a good word that was. Ours is still sitting on the desk in the guestroom.

Reply

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The Importance of "Ministry Money"

by Alecia on May 19, 2010

When my husband and I were first married, our pastor told us a great story about how he and his wife always kept a “Ministry Money” jar.  They would put money in there when they could and allotted that money to be used for “ministry” purposes only.  What I loved most about his story was that he wasn’t talking about just charities!!  He was talking about individual people.  He said they used the money once, for example, to repair a flat tire for a couple in their bible study who just didn’t have the funds to pay for it (anonymously, of course).

Since that wonderful meeting with Pastor Joe, Chris and I have set aside a percentage of our income each month to our own “Ministry Fund”.  Over the years, we have used this money for tons of great things – donating to non-profits in the wake of natural disasters (World Vision’s Haiti fund, for example), we use funds from it on a regular basis to sponsor two children through World Vision, and we have had the immense pleasure to be the Lord’s hands and feet on a case-by-case basis when others are in need!

Having the flexibility to dip into this fund whenever we hear of a friend in need (or a friend of a friend, etc), has been a blessing to us, personally, in addition to benefiting those to whom we give.  We have purchased toys for children of families struggling to make ends meat during the holidays.  We have sent gift cards to individuals out of work.  We have donated to funds when a loved one has passed away leaving a family in a financial crisis.  The list goes on and on.

When possible, we try to give the money anonymously, and never expect a “thank you” or gift of gratitude in response.  The money we set aside allows us to fulfill Jesus’ request of taking care of the “least of these” (Matt 25:40).  Now before you go on thinking “Oh, they’re so generous.  I wish we had the extra funds to toss around like that.” – I want you to know that even in our most difficult days, when we were living off of money supplied by others, we still set aside our spare change and “coupon money” when possible.  The fund grew over time and though we were not able to dip into it for every need we knew of, it was there as a possibility.

So, let me encourage you to sit down and examine your finances.  See if there are funds that you could set aside – in a jar, a tin, or a separate bank account – so that you too can be a testament to others, when the opportunity arises, that the Lord values their “worth more than many sparrows” (Matt 10:29 – 31).

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