What if—instead of providing money for new church plants on the front end and then phasing out those subsidies—we did the opposite? What if we don’t fund things until they’ve begun gathering? What if we fund the things that are already working? Think in terms of investing in provenness.
Planters start by engaging culture and forming communities. Why pay planters to do something that all Christians are supposed to be doing? Besides, being bivocational increases your street cred (as Hugh Halter recently put it)—even if you’re just part-time. Otherwise regular people don’t understand how you don’t have a job. They wonder if you just sit around in your house all day.
How we used to support ministry is changing. Now, I’m not opposed to receiving funds. Paul did. But he was a proven church multiplier. The only people who should get paid are those who are equipping. It should be easy to spot those to invest in. It’s a matter of good stewardship—invest in those with the fruit. As Neil Cole said, “Don’t invest in potential; invest in proveness.”