Should we seek where we can get the biggest bang for the buck (abundant lasting fruit) as Jesus taught in the Parable of the Minas and Talents? Or will we remain stuck in Jerusalem, with all of God’s resources?
In 2002 our business was going great, which afforded me and other owners and pastors the opportunity to help disciple leaders around the world through the work of Equip, founded by Dr. John Maxwell. I grew a heart for all people created in God’s image, in the many nations where I taught. Soon thereafter business troubles ensued, and although I’m not a prosperity gospel fan, I’m not the opposite either. In the midst of a record long arbitration, I came across some research, while I was asking God “why” about the injustice I had personally experienced, and “what” now?
God was about to bring me face to face with eternal injustice that far outweighed my personal situation, and to a Kingdom investment with unbelievable return.
The research exposed that 97% of all Christian giving is used to minister to Christian Nations, and only 1/3 of 1% was making it to the lost nations of the world. Even more concerning was the discovery that many of the spiritually poor, frontier-mission nations receiving this minimal investment (1/3 of 1% of our Kingdom giving), were 3,000 times more fruitful overall!
In the market place we have a saying for people who use resources like this, it’s
In the Parable of the Talents, (Matthew 25:14-30), we learn that Jesus does care about results, (often called fruit). This resonates with me and most market place Christians. There are many parables, verses and passages which show the responsibility that comes along with being wealthy. It was not FDR, Churchill, Gates or even the writers of Spider Man who first said “with great power (or wealth) comes great responsibility”. It was Jesus Christ paraphrased from Luke 12:48.
In 2012 the median household income of Americans was $51,017, placing us in the world’s 1% wealthiest group. The more I searched God’s Word, the even greater responsibility I felt as I had been entrusted with two, three and even several times more than this.
The numbers matter, because people matter to God. So what did I feel that I, and every marketplace believer needed to do with their blessings? We needed to discover where we could invest in fruit, good abundant lasting fruit “Where the harvest is ripe and workers (and resources) are few” and conversely do NOT foolishly store it “where moth, rust (and market fluctuations) can destroy”. Did I really need to discover this in the exhaustive 952 page, World Christian Trend research completed by Dr. David Barret and Dr. Todd Johnson, who collaborated with over 400 leading church and ministry leaders including Ralph Winter and Paul Eshleman? No. I could have just been obedient to God’s word to begin with, such as the Great Commission, Jesus most dramatic last words in Acts 1:8, or in his example, as He “came to preach the good news to the poor”.
Two years ago, with my eyes opened, and with this new burning passion, I had the privilege of founding and launching ROI Ministry with a great team of marketplace believers who share the same vision. This ministry does not seek, solicit or receive any support, but attempts to uncover the Top 10 Great Commission ministries based on their historical and measurable results per dollar invested.
My challenge to you as marketplace and ministry leaders is to be shrewd with your investment of God’s resources, and to dramatically increase the allocation of your portfolio funds to predominately poor unengaged, unreached people groups of the world, where
3,000 X returns exist today, until such time that this fund is closed and Jesus comes back.
God has helped me to financially “restore the years the locust ate,” and my prayer to you as “men and women of Issachar” is to “not build up larger storehouses” (401k, larger homes, nicer cars, boats, planes etc.) as the fool did who “laid up treasure for himself, and (was) not rich toward God” in Luke 12:18-21. But to be rich, be rich, be rich but only if it’s predominately where it matters most!
Mr. Barker serves as a manager for URS Corporation, a leading provider of engineering, construction, and technical services for public agencies and private sector companies around the world.
FROM RESENT POST ON http://issacharinitiative.org/harvest-ripe-workers-resources/