Transformation is a recurring theme in CIF’s ministry campaigns.
While most of us are hard-wired to be self-interested—we work hard to learn, earn and acquire—only a significant transformational experience will move us from this position.
When the Holy Spirit moves, we are transformed into God-centered, “other-interested” individuals with overflowing hearts, who exhibit generosity toward God and others.
With this backdrop in mind, here are a few true stories of ordinary members of God’s family who were moved to give through their church’s ministry campaign.
The Antique Tractors. John grew up on a farm, where he developed a love of old tractors. He was blessed financially through business, so he had amassed a barn full of restored, gleaming antique tractors. When his church held a ministry campaign, the Holy Spirit moved in John’s heart, and he realized that the collection no longer held joy for him. In an extravagant act of gratitude and generosity, John liquidated his entire collection and with great joy, gave the proceeds to his church’s new building.
The Coin Collection. No one in Oscar’s church thought of him as a person of means. No one could have guessed he had been quietly saving coins for many years—so long that the bottom of the 5-gallon pail in which he collected the coins was predominantly silver coins: dollars, half-dollars, quarters and more.
As the Spirit moved, Oscar committed the entire collection to the Lord’s work through his church’s ministry campaign. The coins totaled more than $7,000. As a man in need, he could have easily justified using this collection to support himself, but like the woman with expensive perfume we read about in the Bible, Oscar poured it all at Jesus’ feet.
The Pontoon. Jim and Audrey lived in a small mobile home on a lake. Over some time, they had saved $1,000 to buy a pontoon boat for use with their grandchildren. When their church’s ministry campaign launched, the couple prayed about how they could participate with their limited means. They determined they could find many other ways to have fun with their grandchildren, and the pontoon boat was converted into their heartfelt donation.
The Fine Jewelry. Immediately upon hearing about an upcoming ministry campaign and its important Kingdom purpose, an elderly woman who subsisted at a near poverty level came tearfully and joyfully forward to the pastor, holding in her hands the fine jewelry she was wearing and had owned for much of her life. “Take this,” she said to the pastor. “It’s about all I have, but I know the Lord needs it for this ministry more than I do!”
“‘Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” (Malachi 3:10b, NIV).
These are just a few examples we have experienced over the years of God transforming someone’s heart for a larger ministry purpose. If we pray earnestly, God will help direct our paths when it comes to our contributions—financial and practical—to ministry-focused endeavors.