When my husband and I first start looking at houses, we dreamed big. Really big. We spent many dinner-table discussions throwing ideas around: did we want a playroom for our future children? How big did we want our yard to be? How important is a pantry? Answer: very important. (Okay, that last one was mostly me.) We narrowed down our dreams to our Top Three. We even set a minimum square footage.
We looked at houses for months, spending several evenings a week walking through homes and continuing to dream.
The shift happened subtly. We started considering homes that didn’t have a playroom. Homes with smaller yards. Homes without pantries. Why?
My husband said it best to our MC when we were describing the home we put an offer on last week, which does not have our minimum square footage: “We want to build more margin into our lives. Margin in our schedule so we can lead this Missional Community. Margin in our budget so we can give to what God is doing through Journey and our city. That means a lower mortgage than we could afford. That means the opportunity to make even buying a house a Kingdom-minded process.”
We often say at Journey that we want to exist for something greater than ourselves because we believe our own glory is too small a thing to live for. This last Sunday, Will challenged us to consider whether we have or can make margin to give with purpose and commit to giving of our first fruits on March 25th.
Giving means choosing to invest your resources intentionally. This is a choice that is not to be entered into lightly: take some time to pray and, if you are married, don’t neglect to involve your spouse in your decision.
How do we allow God to lead us in this decision? Through the following three-step process:
- Pray privately for two weeks. Married couples, pray apart from your spouse.
- Make a simple list of what you want to be your top five life priorities and your top five budget* priorities (the places where most of your income go each month). Married couples, keep this list to compare with your spouse’s list when you have your conversation in two weeks.
- Individuals, journal through the following questions. Married couples, talk through the following questions together.
Questions to Ask
- How do I feel God is leading me to grow in my relationship with Him in the area of generosity?
- Do I feel as if I have to give or as if I get to give?
- How do my/our current top five budget* priorities line up with my/our vision of my/our top five life priorities? (If you are doing this with your spouse and your lists do not match, discuss why each of you listed what you did and try to agree on a new top five priority list.)
- Based on my answer to question one, how do I see myself achieving growth in generosity over time? In the next month, next six months, and long-term?
- Does the strategy I/we came up with in answer to question 4 align with my/our answer(s) to question 1?
We hope these questions are helpful and allow you to journal/talk through how God is leading you. Remember: No matter what level we find ourselves at today, we should still be growing in generosity as we should be in all other aspects of our walk with God (prayer/service/etc.).
Lord willing, my husband and I will move into a new home next month. A new home bigger than our apartment but not as big as we originally dreamed. Because we’re hitching our wagon to another dream more important than ours: that of seeing every man, woman, and child in our geography have multiple opportunities to see, hear, and respond to the gospel.
And we’re committing to the geography a mere 5.2 minutes from our house to Journey–and throughout our city.
Will you join us on March 25th?
- Click here for The One Initiative commitment form.
- For more information for creating a budget, here is more information on the budgeting app my husband and I use.