"We refuse to let our budget determine our vision. That left-brained approach is a wrong-brained approach because it is based on our limited resources rather than on God's unlimited provision. Faith is allowing your God-given vision to determine your budget." (Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker)
How long does it take for a faith-based, risk-taking movement of God to morph into a financially-controlled and risk-managed organisation? Just as long as it takes for compliance to systems to become more important than obedience to the Spirit!
Mark Batterson's quote resonates with the heart of this leader who constantly wrestles with the tension between organisational compliance and a Holy Spirit driven vision. I increasingly find myself financially inhibited by an organisational culture that makes missional decisions based upon "our limited resources rather than on God's unlimited provision." I am not advocating for irresponsible stewardship but the courage to support a clear vision from God and the faith to trust Him to supply what is needed to turn that vision into reality.
I have personally experienced too many moments in my leadership and ministry where God's promise of provision was not enough to secure organisational approval. This has been frustrating when I have had to spend a disproportionate amount of time and energy defending God's vision and justifying my faith position. Nevertheless, it has also been affirming when I have stepped out in faith anyway in obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit, trusting God at His word, and seeing Him provide what He has promised.
When God gives you a "vision beyond your resources" He is inviting you into His economy which transcends what is into the realm of what could be when we trust Him to resource what He has revealed. I am tired of a risk and faith averse culture that limits the potential of our mission because of what we don't have instead of trusting God for what we could have. I am concerned by a culture that is more dependent upon the generosity of our community than the generosity of our Creator! I am discontent with a culture of leadership that manages away miracles.
Having a "vision beyond your resources" is not a form of prosperity theology, nor is it a licence for financial mismanagement, but an invitation to dream big dreams because you believe in a big God! In fact, if a vision really is from God, it will always be beyond your means. Let us embrace a God-sized vision that demands complete dependence upon God's generous provision!