Over the years we have encountered more and more missionary families. We have also run into more and more families wanting to be plant churches. Of course all of these families need to raise support in order to do missions, plant a church, etc. You get the idea. Well, it wasn’t until we were doing our own mission trip and raising support that my own attitude was revealed.
We all like to have what we want. Maybe some people like nice houses, others like nice cars and yet some value vacations. We all have an area in life that we spend more money in or make a priority. Some are called to plant a church or go into the mission field and many times that involves relocating. Do these people deserve to live a life any less comfortable than the ones we live? I find myself thinking that a pastor should live in a small house and drive a used car and not have any luxury items. I mean after all they are a pastor!
Why is it that we feel certain positions in society should get more status? I found myself looking at families in mission field or pastor’s families and wondering why they drove such a nice car or wore such nice clothes. Should they really be allowed to take their family on a decent vacation? It was like I expected them to live in poverty in order to have the correct spiritual life. It comes down to they are just people like you and I. Sure the bible holds them to a higher standard because the pastor will have to answer to God in a different way then I will since he responsible for teaching in the church, but does that mean he shouldn’t have nice things? It comes down to the heart. Sure if he was spending all of this money on luxuries instead of tithing then we have a problem. But if they are spending responsibly is it an issue? Maybe they even got some of the things we see as a gift.
We had missionaries at our church in Michigan that basically spent their entire lives in Africa. They would pack their belongings among toilet paper as to not waste any space in the box and to have it when they arrived. They really had to think ahead and lived very simply. Absolutely nothing wrong with this at all. Even as I went to their house once they retired in the United States they lived very simply. I guess they just realized what they needed and what they didn’t.
So a few thoughts to challenge ourselves:
- Do you look at people in spiritual positions and think they should have less than us? Where do we draw the line? What is too much and what is too little or too luxurious?
- What do we have in our homes currently that we don’t really need? Where are we spending money in excess? What could we get by without and give that money to someone else or to a need or cause?
Maybe you don’t agree with me and that’s ok. Share your thoughts anyway.