Missions in a Financial Crisis

Judging from public reaction yesterday afternoon, you would have thought the sky had fallen. In reality, it was only the stock market, which plunged an interesting 777 points. While people weren’t lining up on the window sills like 1929, it’s still early in the week and we don’t yet know how this is going to land.

As missionaries who raise their own funds based on the benevolence of others, the staff of IHOP and other missions organizations around the world find themselves in a unique position. We would appear to be most affected by a financial downturn, when in reality, we have wrangled a certain insulation from it.

Before you write me off as crazy, think with me a little bit. If you’re a missionary, here are a few things to consider in these days of financial panic.

You cannot be fired.
Along with “do I have any money left?”, the question a lot of people are asking right now is “with the increase in expenses and the tightened credit market, will I still have a job in 3 months?”

I can’t tell you what will happen to the conventional job market, but I am positive of this - as a Christian worker, you are in one of the most unique rolls in the world. You can be relieved of your earthly assignment by a superior in your sending organization, but you can’t really be fired. The only thing that can separate you from the job God’s called you to do is your own conscious decision to quit. So long as you’re not quitting, you have a job to do. Don’t clean out your desk prematurely.

Even in times of crisis, nepotism works.
Anyone who’s ever worked at a family business knows that it’s nearly impossible for a supervisor to be impartial when it comes to family and non-family workers. Try as we might, it’s just too hard to separate family loyalties in the workplace.

For once in your life, this is going to work for you. You are not a hired gun, you’re the favorite son. God the Father picked you for this role Himself. Lack of income may mean the water gets shut off and the lights go out, but you’re still going to be a son, and there’s always room for a son. Your Father will see to it.

You’re already 2 steps removed from the problem.
At the risk of oversimplifying, our earthly economy is based in the concepts of supply and demand. Price and value are determined by a) how much stuff is available and b) how much demand there is for said stuff. It all comes down to what’s available and how many people need it.

In doing the work of the Father, you’re in a unique place of enjoying unlimited supply and being in unlimited demand. God provides - salvation, resources, vision, energy, passion, and yes, food! - so that you have unlimited supply. The need or demand for the things of God - particularly salvation - grows exponentially as the population of our planet grows. Even among those who have received it, there is a great need for ministry, training, healing, etc. Simply put, you (and people like you) are in great demand, and will be throughout eternity.

I don’t mean to make light of the looming crisis. It is real...and it’s not just about Wall Street fat cats. Innocent people will lose a lot of money through none of their own ill doing.

I do mean to draw a connection between a confident heart and the unique place one puts themselves in when they fully trust in God. Come what may, we’re in good hands - and it’s not an insurance company or a market analyst.


rebecca said...

well said Randy, and I laughed while reading it.
Rebecca Devencenzi Cincinnati Ohio

Ronni said...

You know, in a way this is how every Christian should feel. I'm concerned about my job right now due to an injury that shut me down for a week, but there is security knowing that my Father has this. He knew this would happen, and He will provide. I just have to be faithful in the daily stuff and He will take care of me.

Not to mention, for once it's kinda safer to be "poor". I only noticed the stock market thing because of my news texts I get.

Kristi from Canada said...

I needed to hear those reminders today! Thanks from up here in Winnipeg, Canada!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Randy. I am putting in notice today to leave my job and go be on staff full time at SHOP. This was a very timely word for me. I appreciate you bro. Blessings on you all!

Anonymous said...

Randy- I like what you said about our place before God. I would, however, like to challenge you on one thing. It sounds like you are suggesting that as a business owner,(who really loves the Lord and seeks to do His will) I am less likely to be taken care of by God in a financial crisis than a missionary or someone at IHOP. You might want to think about whether you really believe that, or if you just come across that way.

Randy Bohlender said...

Dear Anon...

I don't really need to think about whether or not I believe it, because I don't. Neither do I feel that I inferred it. You're right - We're all in the same boat in one sense - although there does seem to be an extra link in the chain for missionaries...the link of participation by others and the trust in God that those others will hear His voice.

Thanks for commenting. Next time, be brave and share your name. :)

Anonymous said...

off the subject FYI.. There is a huge childrens consignment sale this weekend (October 2-4th) at the KC speedway. its called Just Between Friends..It has amazing deals on anything baby (clothes,toys,strollers, cribs etc). the sale inpart benefits Kansas Foster and Adoptive Children.. website if interested is jbfsale.com..

Somedays are Worth Remembering said...

Randy- I have to admit that I am not really following the finacial status of our nation. I probably should as I work both in the house of prayer and in the market place. It is all a matter of time and the line in that sand is drawn. It is what you are "surfing" on when the wave hits that matters. I agree that IHOP type callings are the best jobs in the world, yet I am praying now "Lord I belief, Help my unbelief" as we enter into a shaking, yet exciting time in history. No matter what occurs we must stay the course. It will "simplify" our lives that is for sure.

Mert said...

I appreciate you speaking about this huge issue. Great perspectives you are sharing. Thanks!