Return on Investments
Over twenty years ago, I stood up to preach and noticed an unfamiliar face sitting in the congregation. He appeared to be around 70 years old, and some of our folks seemed to recognize him. At the end of the service, one of our long-time members brought him to me and introduced us. He had grown up in our town, and his family had deep roots in the church. After college, he had moved north to a large city, and had put down roots there. However, he still considered our church to be his home, and the University across the street was his alma mater.
He wondered if he could see me the next day, and of course, I was happy to set a meeting time. He wanted to talk about our campus ministry. He had heard that we were having chapel services on campus, and he was really excited to know that his church was reaching out to his school. After a long conversation about the campus ministry, he asked me if we needed anything. I explained that we had just received a sizable grant from both the District and the Conference, and that for the time being, we were in good shape.
A few months later, we were dreaming bigger dreams. We wondered about enlarging our outreach and offering more ministry to the university community. What began to formulate was a vision of a campus chaplaincy, provided by the church and supported by the university.
The next time my out-of-town visitor stopped by, he asked again if I needed anything. At that point, I laid out the vision of an expanded campus ministry to him. He liked the vision. “How much do you need to fund this?” he asked.
“$100,000,” I said.
He didn’t flinch. He sat and thought for a moment, then said, “Let me get back to you on that.” A few days later, he showed up with a check. Not for $100,00, but still for a substantial sum. And every time I saw him, he brought more money with him.
When he died, he still had not given the full amount, but he had funded a ministry that, a generation later, still impacts college students for Christ. It turns out he knew he was dying, but he wanted to see that a ministry he loved would continue even after his death. He invested in the future of Christ’s Kingdom.
Today, we talk about Hannah. She, too, invested in the work of God. We’ll talk about this today.
What we do here matters.
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Dale has been in ministry for over forty years. He's a teacher, singer, and story teller.