Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Missionary Or Moochinary? Part 3

Missionary Or Moochinary? Part 3

ABBA has a song, and although the lyrics don’t fit the title says it all, “Give Me, Give Me, Give Me.” This describes what we have been talking about for a couple of days now. Are we missionaries or moochinaries?

When I permit the devil to win, and I often do, I feel like a burden on the church and a drain on my friendships. I feel like Wimpy in the old cartoon Popeye. I always need a burger today and we both know that Tuesday will never arrive.

Don’t you get sick of missionaries asking you for money?
Are you now immune to the photos of malnourished children?

When you hear that there is going to be a missionary speaker at church, do you want to leave your checkbook at home?

When your church, or honestly I should probably say “If” your church has a mission conference, would you hesitate to attend because you have your own bills to pay?

Here is how I feel.
I feel like when I am in the States, people do not want to meet with me, talk to me, spend time with me, or hear my stories. You know why? Because they are scared that in some form or fashion the concept of money will float to the surface. They do not want to be asked to give, made to feel guilty for not giving, or just think that they ought to give.

Here is how I feel.
For the first 23 years of our marriage, Denise and I were big time givers (we still are, just keep reading). We gave to our churches, to causes, and to missionaries. We have on more than one occasion giving all of the money in our savings account to a missionary. We lived a giving lifestyle. We were donors. We were givers. We met needs. It felt good to be a giver. There is a certain spiritual joy in knowing that God is using you to meet the physical needs of other people. It rocks, and we did it.

Now, it seems like we are moochinaries. Instead of answering the plea of someone else to give, we are asking to receive. Instead of feeling the joy of writing a check, we are embarrassed over our need for one. Instead of adding to someone’s financial well being, we are taking from it. Now, we still give a large percentage of our finances—way above tithing—to the kingdom of God, but…well even our giving is dependent upon our receiving. We can’t give to others until we receive from others.

It is hard to live a dependent lifestyle, ESPECIALLY if you are from North America. For us U.S. Citizens, the Declaration of Independence wasn’t just a historical document, it is a way of life. We want to be independent. We don’t want to need other people. We are like the two year old who jerks their hand out of mama’s hand and says, “I can do it myself!”.

We hate asking others to help us in any way. It makes us feel like beggars. It makes us feel indebted. It makes us feel ‘less than’ you.

This is the struggle of most missionaries. We are called to be missionaries, but we feel like moochinaries when we are in the States, writing appeals, or expressing needs.

Then, the door bursts open and the truth of the Word of God carried by the wind of the Holy Spirit blasts through the room.

I said earlier that I would leave the mission field before entering the mooching field (article one). It is God’s truth that allows me to stay here on the field and ask you to help me be here. I am not a moochinary. A moochinary is seeking to manipulate someone into giving something for a selfish end (i.e. Wimpy). My goal is to bless you and others!

Here is the truth. The Bible says that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Read it with me.

(Act 20:35) "In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, `It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "

Is this a truth or not? Is this true or not? Is this the Bible or not? Is this the written, and spoken (notice the emphasis) Word of the Living God or not?

“Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that HE HIMSELF said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

I have to remind myself of this. In other words, if I can share with you the vision that God has laid upon our hearts, if I can excite within you a desire to cheerfully invest in the Kingdom, if I can encourage you to donate your money to our ministry….now get this…YOU are more blessed than us.

When you give us money, it blesses our socks off. However, according to the Bible, it blesses you more than that.

Consider this. If you give us money that helps us live here and minister to Bolivia, then:

  • You are mimicking God who gives.
  • You are Godly.
  • You are Christlike.
  • You are following the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
  • You are participating in a virtue, therefore virtuous.
  • You are investing in the eternal Kingdom and will receive 1000 percent interest for all eternity.
  • You are laying up treasures in heaven where they are eternally secure.
  • You are being an example to others of faith in action.
  • You are prioritizing your life around spiritual matters.
  • You are walking by faith.
  • You are serving God more than money.
  • You are being rich in generosity.
  • You are helping take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
  • You are impacting the eternal destination of others.

We purchase milk and eggs.

Who is more blessed? Don’t get me wrong. We are BLESSED and NEED the money.

However, if the Bible is true—and it is—you are MORE BLESSED for donating.

So, in the true attitude of humility and servanthood. Let me bless you today. Join our team of donors and help us impact Bolivia.

We are missionaries, not moochinaries, and it is our goal to bless those on the field and those sending us to the field. We are seeking to MORE BLESS 75 people who will donate to us on a monthly basis. Will you be one of them? Let us, well, let God make you MORE BLESSED as you BLESS us.

Go by www.HolmanFamily.org and follow the links on giving.



Anonymous said...

God is very good and faithful, and works through His people to bless His servants! What you sowed for so many years, God is now allowing you to reap through the generosity of others. May He provide for all of your needs out of His abundance that resides in others' pockets. ;)

See you soon! God bless,

Leah =)

Rich said...

Thanks Joe!

Stumbler said...

Great Blog Joe. I get it easy living in nice comfy England. It's great to be able to help you and see the fruit of your labour knowing I could assist. (And I do mean "assist"... bit like a load of players enabling you to slam dunk the ball at the end!)

Have a great time on home assignment and lets pray that a LOT of folk will take the opportunity to invest in God's work through you and Denise.:-)