Matthew 10:7 As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. 9 Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food.
In the mid 90’s, I discovered in this passage the paradigm for our organization’s approach to giving…
I was a college student trying to get a non-profit organization off the ground without any funding. I had a deep conviction to educate and empower the marginalized of the world so that they could experience the fullness of life they deserved, but I knew that such a task was too big for me alone. It would necessitate an association of like-minded people, an organization to effectively combat the systemic problems that held so many captive. Having met with some lawyers of the university I was attending, I learned that facing up to these large-scale issues wasn’t just going to take courage and willingness; apparently, it would require money. A lot of money.
I was advised to find an organization with a shared vision, which was well ‘established’ (meaning an organization with an endowment or some strong base of financial security). I was advised that in order to do great things, I needed great amounts of resources. I didn’t necessarily shrug off this advice; it was common, and something I’d heard growing up plenty of times. I could see how it was ‘the way’ of many organizations that had been in operation for a long time. I just noticed it implied that unless I possessed the power of money, I couldn’t give the power of God to restore human beings to health. But this didn’t work in my theology.
Matthew 10:8 shows us that when the Kingdom of Heaven (the reign of God through his people) is present, the sick should find healing, mortality rates should decrease, unsanitary living conditions should become healthy environments and mental/emotional health should be restored.
It would be typical of us to think these objectives are met by having enough resources to provide the goods necessary to meet the goal. However, the end of verse eight states that what we’ve received didn’t come as a result of paying for it and what we have to give shouldn’t have a price on it either. (That definitely seemed to rule out what was going on with my $28,000/year private Christian college education).
Verses nine and ten solidify the issue by stating that what we have to give can’t be met by possessing gold, silver or copper, or even a bag of supplies, clothing or technology. In other words, the typical resources we think necessary to usher in the restoration of a society are not the resources for this paradigm.
I discovered that the greatest resource in the Kingdom of God was a human being equipped to give of themselves through competencies that brought healing for the sick, decreased mortality rates, healthy living environments, and mental and emotional health for those in need. The good news was for the recipient and participant.
The participant wouldn’t need to amass a wealth of resources to ‘go’ – they would just need to have the competency to ‘do.’ And for the recipient, it wasn’t going to cost them to receive, because the way in which the participant would be equipped, according to the end of verse eight, wasn’t as a result of payment. So the benefit they learned to offer had to be offered for no payment as well.
This has been our paradigm ever since I learned this. The Human Resource is what God finds most valuable. Since we started in the 90’s, we continue to concentrate on this task of equipping competent workers, specialized in grassroots and developing world approaches in the fields of healthcare, community development, sustainable building and agriculture, social work and education. In this edition you’ll see how our organizational participants are giving of themselves, the Human Resource, to see the Kingdom come.