Forthright Magazine

Poor Management

“Gather up the leftovers…” (John 6:12).

Jesus was economical in every way. He taught economically. This writer once pasted the Sermon on the Mount into a word processor to analyze. It was spoken at about a 5th grade level. Translated to English, many of Jesus’ words are only one or 2 syllables.

He was economical with His time. In only 3 years of public ministry Jesus accomplished the greatest body of work the world has ever known.

He was even frugal with His miracles, telling His disciples to gather leftovers when He produced food for thousands (Of course, the sheer volume of the leftovers from the miracle is part of the miracle itself: 12 baskets full, John 6:13). He ordered the scraps picked up “so that nothing will be lost” (John 6:12).

Jesus was an exceptional manager of His resources. The Scripture doesn’t specify, but we wonder if Jesus donated that remaining portion of scraps from the miracle to the poor (Acts 10:38)?

This gives me pause as I think about co-laboring with God in our individual communities. Are we economical with our ministry as a local church? There will undoubtedly be those who are lost despite our best efforts, but may it never be said that they are lost because of wasted or misused resources.

Some churches are so frugal they are too fearful to let a dollar go. I once heard a preacher say that some churches squeeze old George Washington till his eyes bulge out of his head. And some churches are financially wasteful, spending too much money on things that have little to no impact their communities, perhaps out of ignorance, or tradition, or other concerns.

As we send dollars to fund missions abroad we may not say it in so many words, but we (more or less) expect “bang” for our “buck.” We expect both integrity and economy. Remember that our local churches are also located in a mission field, no matter how long they have been planted there. If we are not intentional, our local church (people) will become a legacy act, and our buildings a local, architectural curiosity that mostly feeds on maintenance fees.

Let us be focused and economical, “that nothing will be lost” – at least, not due to poor management of resources.


Rick Kelley
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