by Patty Slack
You can feel the change in the air–not just the crisp autumn wind, but the smell of burning leaves and cinnamon pinecones, the sight of neighbors on tall ladders stringing lights in bold outlines around windows and across roofs.
It is a season of giving. This week, we give thanks, honoring our creator for the blessings of the year. We recognize that no matter our circumstances, we have reason to be grateful.
It’s also a season of giving gifts. Despite my best efforts to push Christmas off until after Thanksgiving, the stores have already been decked with evergreen sprays and Christmas music for weeks. The next few weeks, I’ll enjoy considering the important people in my life and how I can express my love for each of them through a gift or a note or a personal visit.
Thirdly, for all the people who work with ministries and nonprofits, including all of us on the Kairos staff and many of our church planters, it is fundraising season. With the end of the tax year and our fiscal years coming soon, we are all aware of the fact that we really cannot do this work on our own.
When I moved overseas as a missionary (more years ago than I can believe), I carried with me a healthy dose of shame to be asking for the money to help me go do the thing I wanted to do. As if to be worthy of support, I needed to be miserable. Or desperate. People and churches were generous and, though funds were often tight, God always provided one way or another for all we needed.
After returning to the States, I had several years of working traditional jobs that paid an hourly wage. But last year I found myself in a position where obedience to God’s call and excitement about how we at Kairos are witnessing the movement of his Spirit meant asking people to support me. Let me tell you, it’s a terrifying place to be.
Time and time again in Scripture and in experience, I see that if God calls, he also provides. There are more scriptures than I can list that point to the importance of those who work for God’s purposes to be supported in their work.
And here’s what else I’ve learned. God calls certain people to go. It might be missionaries or church planters or medical workers or apprentices or whatever. But these are not the only people God calls. He also asks people to send. Like the women who supported Jesus as he traveled or the churches that supported Paul on his missionary journeys, those who send are in partnership with Jesus just as much as those who are sent.
So, if one of us approaches you this season to talk about the amazing things we see God doing through Kairos, know these three things:
There’s no pressure. Just invitation. And then we’ll leave it between you and God to discuss if this is the work he’s calling you to support or he has something else in mind for you. Either way, we’re giving thanks for you.