They are a reckless, passionate and spirited people who in most cases have left the harbor of security and safety for the open seas of transformation and redemption. When I have the chance to coach a church planter, helping them to craft a travel brochure and chart the missional course, I always end the conversation more energized than when I started.
In a FaceTime conversation yesterday, I was listening to a husband and wife pastoral team walk through intentional solutions to the biggest challenge that most planters face: resources. Raising support, creating a culture of generosity and funding the dream is a constant reality in their world. As we discussed their unique categorizations of supporter and how to keep these ministry partners connected to the church’s vision, a powerful thought surfaced.
With the knowledge that telling a story is the most powerful vehicle for casting vision and celebrating success, we wondered out loud at the impact of seeing the vision lived out for supporters. Literally putting a new face on the money being given by connecting a life-change story.
Just about every type and denomination of currency worldwide has some portrait on it, be it president, dictator, monarch, cultural icon or historic leader. I can only speculate on the reason behind this, as my Google search queries have not quite been honed enough to get the “why” results ahead of the “who” and “what” links. It would seem though, that currency has a face, because that face lends credibility to the note.
A former president on a US Treasury note is a vision anchor to our national story. It reminds the bearer of ardent leadership and success in adversity during a pivotal moment in our history. The face of an ineffective or even average leader does not appear on currency, because failure is not an option when it comes to monetary value.
In the same way, effective church planters attach stories and faces to generosity. Celebrating the success of the mission lived out in the life of a real person attaches credibility to a visionary call for funds. Tangible reminders of the face of life change, even years after they have supported the effort, raises the value of the giver above the gift. And with the access to HD video technology virtually in the palm of everyone’s hand, there is little excuse to not be capturing the stories behind the financial support and sharing them regularly.
Telling your story and celebrating your success literally puts a face of salvation on every dollar given, and likely increases the opportunity to do it again.