Building for the future - how regular giving helps us plan

Thinking through what biblical principles of planning might mean for our giving

Biblical advice for building a house?

If you asked around at church for advice on how to undertake a building project, I suspect that you'd get a mix of bits and pieces about planning permission, patience and the importance of 'measure twice, cut once'.

If you asked for biblical advice, I wonder what the answer would be?

Consider this...

Benchsaw and earmuffs

Nehemiah 2:4–8

The king said to me, 'What is it you want?'

Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, 'If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favour in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.'

Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, 'How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?' It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.

I also said to him, 'If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?' And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests.

(NIV)

Nehemiah had a plan

Nehemiah heard in chapter 1 that Jerusalem was in ruins. He was burdened to rebuild it, and in chapter 2 was asked an amazing question by the king: 'What is it you want?'

Nehemiah had an answer to that question. He had a plan. He knew how long it would take. He asked for materials to be provided and even a place to stay.

And the gracious hand of his God was upon him.

The biblical wisdom of planning

Nehemiah had a plan before a single stone was placed or timber cut.

There's wisdom here for all of us - whether we're undertaking a physical building project or whether we're 'building' something else (a church, business, career or our character), a plan helps a great deal.

A plan also helps us to set and get to our goal, whatever that may be. 

Jesus warns in Luke 14, while talking about the cost of being his disciple and planning to follow him all the way to the end:

'Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, 'This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.'
Luke 14:28-30 (NIV)

Again, the principle of planning stands out. If your 'building' doesn't get finished, then it won't serve its purpose, and the resources expended in laying a foundation will be wasted.

Regular giving helps us to know what we can and cannot do

Cork board covered in post-it notes

We at BRF have a desire to enable all ages grow in faith.

Each year we develop our work, finding new ways to reach individuals, churches and schools across our programmes and ministries, from Anna Chaplaincy to Parenting for Faith.

Part of our work as a charity involves planning carefully for the future - deciding what we can afford to 'build' and what we can't. 

Giving regularly to our work enables us to know with some degree of confidence what donations we expect to receive during the year.

BRF is approaching its centenary in 2022 and we have many exciting plans as we go into our 100th year and beyond.

If more of our donors were able to give regularly, it would change how we were able to approach the projects and possibilities that were before us.

Taking it forward

Suggestions for prayer

  • Pray about whether you'd be able to support BRF regularly. Even a small regular donation would make a difference.
  • Pray that the 'gracious hand of our God would be upon us' as we plan for the future

To reflect on further

  • Are there any other Bible passages that speak to you about 'building' or 'planning' for the future - if you'd like to, send us your thoughts via giving [at] brf.org.uk 

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Every year, thousands of people are being impacted through BRF's work and ministry.

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