Monday, March 3, 2014

Cheap Ministry

I am having trouble understand why Christians love to think that it is OK that the ministry of God can be cheap or even free.

For example, you work as a missionary doctor for the church and you will earn only Php 20,000 a month ($500) and people will tell you that is OK because it is for God's ministry anyway.

Or a church member will tell you, let us get Church Member A as our accountant for the School because we can ask her to waive her professional fee or lower her PF, after all this can be her ministry.

Many other similar examples exist and all will tell you that ministry can be done with little expenses or for free. Of course that is a great strategy if you do not have the budget for your ministry.

And that is my problem. Too little money is spent in the ministry. It is like ministry can be cheap. Ministry then becomes a cheap ministry.

I look at how we spend for our different ministries as a symbol of the value we give to God's ministry. A cheap ministry is not a valued ministry. If you are willing to pay only Php 20,000 to your missionary doctor then you are not only telling the doctor that his value as a missionary is only that much compared to other doctors also healing the sick. If you want to waive the PF of the accountant you are not only telling the accountant that her value is only that much compared to other CPAs. Of course, the missionary doctor and the CPA will think that they have a lesser value than their counterparts. More than that, you are telling them that the ministry the doctor and the CPA are involved are not valued as much as well. The ministry they do is not as important as others.

Bo Sanchez wrote in his book The Abundance Formula that "money is merely a symbol of value." If he is correct, then how much you pay your missionaries is also how much you value them. How much you are willing to spend and put a budget on your ministry is also how much you value the ministry of God. Of course, there is more value to people than what money can pay them. But if we live our spiritual life in the context of the world, for we do not live in a vacuum, then in the language of monetary value our ministry is a cheap ministry.

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