"You are paid to be good. We are good for nothing!" A church volunteer once said that to a pastor. I believe it was November of 1984 when the church put me on a salary of two hundred dollars a week. We were thrilled and relieved to have a more stable source of income. Finally, someone recognized I was no longer -- good for nothing!
I have not spent a lot of time talking about the financial strains of starting a new church, but our family experienced some serious challenges that first year.
Very often we found ourselves praying that God would provide us with enough money to buy groceries and a few necessities for a family of four. My memories might be a bit rose-tinted, but it seemed that whenever we prayed for those needs, we would go to the post office and find that someone had sent us some money.
Does the jingle, Transformers! More than meets the eye? sound familiar to any of you? Transformers were toys that transformed from a truck into a rocketship or some kind of superhero. Our oldest son, Justin, wanted Optimus Prime in the worst way; he was into Transformers. He would often get down on the floor and go through all the movements and sounds pretending to transform. It didn't matter if we were in a store, church, or anywhere. His imagination would become inspired and he would "Transform!" We kept trying to put off his request. Finally we said, "Justin we just don't have any money to buy Optimus Prime." Without skipping a beat, Justin said, "Yes we do. Just go to the Post office!"
That was the way his young heart saw it. We had prayed many times for God to provide and then gone on to the post office. Time and time again, Justin had seen us return with just enough money to meet the need. He concluded that God had transformed the U. S. Postal Service into the Bank of Heaven.