Friday, October 24, 2008

Simple Christian Investment Strategies

No, I have not rediscovered some long-lost mineral mentioned in the Apocrypha that will extend your life to 120 years if you eat a bowl of it every day. Such things make it onto certain Christian TV programs as the newest thing that the church needs to buy. Within a month they go the way of the dodo and the latest exercise equipment that collects dust in our basements and garages. I never cease to be amazed at what some people will fall for.

Concerning Christian investments I am not talking about a business either, but it may involve some money. In a time where the bottom is falling out of investments there are some people who actually invest in things long-term, and when there is instability in the market they just wait for things to return to normal.

In God’s economy investment usually means something long-term. The resources that we invest are simple: time, people and materials. The things that we invest into are visions, projects and last but not least, people.

Investing in God’s people is probably the best and safest possible investment, and let’s take a look at why. First of all this is where God places His investment. He gave up His best possession, His only Son, to save people, so they must have tremendous value despite the fact that they are prone to self-destruction and are often
relegated to the basements of society.

God not only purchased these people, but He then invested His very Spirit into their lives. It is often hard to see why He did this because His Spirit is always in a tug-of-war with their stubbornness and self-will.

Now hold on Wall Street or Church Street because God is resolute in His investment strategy. He is not subject to change with the wind like these two aforementioned streets. God has an enormous arsenal of resources at His disposal. He can do miracles beyond comprehension – not to mention that man is one miracle and the earth that we stand on is another – to accomplish His goals. Alas, He forgoes this so that His investments, you and I, can get the word out instead. He does this even though we are not always the best promotional ads for His kingdom.

So why is investing in people the best Christian investment strategy? Because at the end of the day it has the greatest return because all the other bells and whistles, steroidal church growth methods, gimmicks, etc fail to realize what God’s goal actually is.

The goal is people, and investing in people so that they can in-turn become investors in people is the best way to reach people. It works this way because people respond better to people than they do to anything else. This is how God made us, and He made us this way so we could respond personally to Him.

As a husband, father, missionary-pastor and sometimes mentor I can attest that there is no substitute to investing personally into the lives of others. When we all do this using God’s values and goals the return is nothing less than a changed world. Any other investment will eventually become a dodo.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal. Matt 6:19-20

The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Tim 2:2

By the way, I know I overuse that last verse, but as long as the church underutilizes it I will keep harping on the same thing.

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