My Ministry Setting Is Wealthy

Your Question:

“How can I best serve in a wealthy ministry setting?”

The Issues:

People who are “wealthy” may tend to be more careful with their financial support than expected, and they may also be very “picky” about ministry issues or procedures.

Scripture Foundation:

“Just then a man came up to Jesus and inquired, ‘Teacher, what good thing must I do to obtain eternal life?’ ‘Why do you ask Me about what is good?’ Jesus replied. ‘There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.’ ‘Which ones?’ the man asked. Jesus answered,  ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘All these I have kept,’ said the young man. ‘What do I still lack?’ Jesus told him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.’ W hen the young man heard this, he went away in sorrow, because he had great wealth.Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘Truly I tell you it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’”   Matthew 19: 16-24

Short Answer:

Ministering in a wealthy setting definitely has its “perks,” but it also comes with some very unique challenges. “Wealthy” people became wealthy through two possible “paths”: 1) Their lives honored God in every way, and God blessed their efforts. 2) They worked hard, saved conservatively, and made careful financial decisions that have now produced wealth. No matter how they became wealthy, financially-wealthy people see life differently. 


There are typical “stereotypes” of wealthy people that may or may not apply.  You’ve probably heard them all. They may be more cautious with their money; they may be less trusting; they may be more sacrificial; they may be less willing to volunteer; or they may be more willing to lead. The “bottom line” of serving in a wealthy setting is that you are serving people.  They are basically no different from those who struggle financially! They still have interests, dreams, fears, hopes, and needs.  Once you earn their respect, they will be willing to help. 


The difference between ministering in a wealthy setting and ministering in a “poor” setting might be in the donations you receive.  Jesus was careful to caution us about “judging” people based on their financial wealth or giving levels when He called attention to the widow who gave just two “mites” in the offering. He challenged us to focus on the widow’s “heart” rather than her “mites.” (Mark 12: 41-44).


People who have been blessed with wealth will respond to the CM vision!  Do all you can to communicate the CM vision and the purpose behind what you do.  As with every CM setting, do all you can to be grateful and supportive of everyone who volunteers on your CM team. Wealthy people may be more sensitive to being expected to serve without being thanked or obviously appreciated.


If your church enjoys a significant budget, you may also be blessed with a “healthy” CM budget.  It is a wonderful thing to simply budget for new equipment and supplies, without having to save for them or having to shift finances from one area to another in order to purchase something new.  There is a possible “downside” of this financial wealth, though. 


In a smaller ministry that exists in a poorer area, purchasing new equipment, supplies, or curriculum may force the CM team and church leadership to fall to the knees as they ask God to provide what they need.  Every need becomes a spiritual matter!  The entire congregation may get involved in praying for the needs!  In a wealthy church or CM, you may be tempted to “forget” God, and simply budget for the needs!  This is the danger that God addressed in Deuteronomy 8. When Moses was giving his final challenge to the people of Israel, God cautioned them to not forget what God had done for them.  In verses 11-20, he said, “Be careful not to forget the LORD your God by failing to keep His commandments and ordinances and statutes, which I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses in which to dwell, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud, and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery…You might say in your heart, ‘The power and strength of my hands have made this wealth for me.’ But remember that it is the LORD your God who gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm His covenant that He swore to your fathers even to this day. If you ever forget the LORD your God and go after other gods to worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish. Like the nations that the LORD has destroyed before you, so you will perish if you do not obey the LORD your God.”


The strength of your CM budget, or the wealth of the people in the church may become “other gods” in your mind. You may be tempted to rely on your large budget or rich friends to carry out your CM vision instead of trusting God for His provision. 


Serving in a wealthy area is an exciting adventure filled with tremendous opportunities.  You may be able to launch significant programs or outreaches that churches with less financial ability would only dream of doing!  But, along with that exciting potential comes a dangerous warning from God.  For more help in understanding the setting of the children’s ministry, click on the APPENDIX link below.

Visit other articles in the “Understanding Your Ministry Setting APPENDIX”

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