If you weren’t here last Sunday at Mountaintop you may have heard that we had two offerings. The first is what you might expect and what happens most every Sunday morning – ushers passed baskets and those in attendance gave to support the ministries and work of Mountaintop. The second was just the opposite.
At the conclusion of my message I invited 50 people to accept the opportunity to go on a Kingdom Assignment (20 at 9:00 and 30 at 11:00). The challenge for each person who responded to the invitation was simple:
- Receive a $100 bill recognizing that the money belonged to God but was being entrusted to them because God has confidence in them as a steward.
- Use the $100 to bless someone else. How the money is to be used is up to each individual. The only requirement is that it can’t be returned to Mountaintop, it has to be used outside the walls of the church to further God’s kingdom.
- Come back in six-weeks and tell us the story of what God did as $100 was invested as a blessing.
55 individuals responded to the challenge and so another $500 was quickly found (thanks Wayne Hudson) so that we gave out $5,500 for these Kingdom Adventurers to go out and use to bless the world.
This Kingdom Assignment adventure is already stirring generosity that is growing and spreading. Some of the $100 bills have begun to multiply as others make matching gifts or add their own contributions. An elementary school aged boy told be that his $100 had become $320 before he left the building. Yesterday I received a gift to cover the cost of the money invested at 9:00 and an anonymous gift of $500 that came with a challenge that I needed to participate in the challenge of the assignment myself. I’ve always been the one giving out the challenge and not the one receiving so I’ve begun to do just what I instructed the other 55 to do – pray about how God wants me to invest in His Kingdom.
Some of the blessings will go to individuals and others to support agencies that are caring for those in need here in Birmingham and all around the world.
As I shared on Sunday, the idea for the Kingdom Assignment comes from Pastor Denny Bellesi of Coast Hills Community Church in California who in 2000 was looking for a way to illustrate the parable of the talents that Jesus told in Matthew 25. Over the last 12 years the Kingdom Assignment idea has spread to other churches all around the globe and last week to Mountaintop.
One two different occasions when I was pastor Grace Presbyterian Church in Houston, TX I also presented a Kingdom Assignment challenge. The first time was in 2008 immediately after Hurricane Ike and the stock market crash. It was an opportunity to demonstrate that even in the tough economic times when we invest in God’s Kingdom amazing things can happen. One of the lessons that we quickly discover when we accept a Kingdom Assignment is the power of generosity. I am confident we will have the same experience here at Mountaintop. Our God is the most generous Being in the universe and when we invest generously in caring for the things He cares about and advancing the good news of His Kingdom we reflect that generosity.
Over the next six weeks amazing stories of generosity are going to be written through 55 good and faithful servants who accepted the challenge to go on a Kingdom Assignment. Keep those servants and all of us in your prayers. God is on the move and doing a new thing here at Mountaintop!
To His glory!
More background on the Kingdom Assignment concept can be found at Kingdom Assignment.
To find out more about the results of the Kingdom Assignment at Grace Presbyterian Church read the article from the Houston Chronicle: Houston Church Shows $100 Can Go A Long Way