By David Seefer
It doesn’t take a lot of money to make a big difference. A recent sermon by Dwayne Higgason, pastor of Hattiesburg’s Grace Temple Ministries, illustrated that in a tangible way for his congregation. On June 13, Higgason presented a $5 bill to everyone attending the Sunday morning worship service. He challenged each person to use that $5 as seed money and multiply it, using Jesus’ parable of the talents as inspiration.
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus tells a story about a master who was leaving on a journey. Before going, he entrusted his property or talents (a monetary unit of measure) to his servants. One servant received five talents, the second two talents and the third one talent, according to their respective abilities. When the master returned after a long absence, he asked his servants for an accounting of what they had done with the talents he gave them. The first two said that they had put their money to work and doubled its value, and so he rewarded them. But the third servant had hidden his talent in a hole in the ground, and he was punished for being lazy.
The parable of the talents has traditionally been viewed as Christ’s exhortation to his disciples to use their God-given abilities to serve the Lord. The gifts may be “talents” such as the ability to play a musical instrument or cook or personal wealth. Higgason dubbed his challenge “The Lincoln Project,” and he gave his congregation a month to pursue it.
“We gave out about $1,000 and got back about $5,000,” Higgason said. “The one who produced the most gave back $500. This person went online and issued a challenge to their friends to pledge 100 pennies, 100 dimes or $100. The most creative person bought duct tape with the $5 and made wallets out of them, which she sold. One guy simply pinned the $5 bill to his shirt, and whenever people asked him about it, he explained the challenge and asked for a donation.” The church started a Facebook page – www.facebook.com/pages/The-Lincoln-Project – where ideas could be shared and progress reported.
This article “Pastor’s Challenge Reaps Rewards” by David Seefer was excerpted from: www.churchworldreport.com web site. June 2011. It may be used for study & research purposes only.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”