I was listening to a story the other day by Kenneth Copeland. He was talking about a time when his ministry kept receiving checks from another church. Each week they kept coming and he finally called the Pastor of that church and asks him what was going on.
The Pastor replied that he had made a statement from the pulpit, he had told his people as he took up the offering ‘if there is another ministry that feeds your spirit, let us know, write their name on the bottom of your check and we will send part of the money to them.’ This Pastor told Kenneth Copeland that many of his people were writing Kenneth Copeland on their check so he sent him his part.
I thought it was an amazing story and it touched my heart that this Pastor was so honest and real with his people. By the way, today, this church is one of the largest churches in the United States.
It reminded me of a time many years ago, when something similar happened to me. I was attending a church in Knoxville; I actually worked for this church at the time. Because I worked there, I attended their church even though it was a couple hours from my home. Now, it was the church I attended, yet I was also listening to another minister and being fed what I desperately needed at the time at this other ministry. Although Pastor Randy was a great Pastor, at that time in my life, I needed something different, and this other ministry fed my spirit. It was simply the place my spirit was being fed for the place God was taking me. I tithed at the church I attended – I gave offerings at this other ministry although I felt as if I was being fed by them.
This was just something I kept in my heart; I didn’t mention it to anyone else. One day, Pastor Randy came to me and said ‘Kim, the Lord said you were to tithe at … (he named the ministry I had been listening to.) I was shocked that a Pastor would say such a thing first of all; I knew it had to be God or he wouldn’t have said it. The unselfishness of it amazed me. He was more concerned about my spiritual appetite than he was my tithe.
The remainder of the time I went to that church, I gave offerings there – but I tithed where I was fed. Now, you may not agree with that – but it was what God had said and my Pastor gave his blessing. So that is what I did.
There have been many times in my life that God has dealt with me personally about giving. And sometimes it was odd to me – but I have always been blessed and God has always taken care of me. No one ever had to tell me that I was to give an offering if a ministry was a blessing to me. The Bible tells me to come to God with an offering – so I always did. I simply had a heart to give and I knew I should give where my spirit was fed – it was simply the right thing to do.
One time I had made a one-time donation to a ministry. Just a one-time offering. Didn’t think anything else about it. They began to send me their monthly magazine and I really enjoyed it, I begun to look forward to getting it each month and when I did – I read every page. One day, the Lord said ‘do you like that magazine?’ I said ‘yes, Lord, it’s really a good magazine, I like it a lot.’ He said ‘it costs money every month to send it out.’ I got the picture. If I enjoy it, I should send them an offering each month. So I did. As faithfully as they sent me the word each month, I sent my offering.
1 Corinthians 9:11 in the Amplified says; If we have sown [the seed of] spiritual good among you, [is it too] much if we reap from your material benefits? God and His word has made it plain to me, if I receive spiritual food from a minister, I should, at least in return give them material benefits if it is in my hand to do so. Not because the gospel is not free – it is, but it costs money to get it out there – and if they minister to me, then I should minister what I have to them.
Someone said to me today; ‘it is a shame that a minister of the Gospel has to ask for an offering, we should know that we are to give.’ I totally agree. I have asked God to make my heart sensitive to those who minister to me – who feed my spirit – I have asked God to remind me to pray for them – and to remember that it costs them a great deal to impart the word into my life and I should, at the very least, give them a portion of what I have…it’s only right. It is only right that I bless them as they bless me.
I know there are many people who minister to you – who feed your spirit each day – remember them today. Say a prayer for them. Ask God to strengthen them. Don’t just take the meat they serve you and forget about it – be thankful and remember them as they remember you. Give something back. Tell your Pastor how much you appreciate their sacrifice. Ask God to bless them with new revelation. Ask God to strengthen them daily. Ask God to bless them as they have blessed you. It’s not an easy job – it costs a great deal – let them know you appreciate it.
I have heard it said that the Gospel is free – but it is not cheap. As a leader of this ministry, I know that to be a fact. So the next time you pick up that magazine or listen to that free mp3 online, or write in and ask another minister to pray for you, remember this; they have sown the seed of spiritual good to you – is it too much for you to send them a material benefit? I don’t think so.