NOTE: We are still celebrating the fun and power of what our Lord does through YES! Camp! In that vein, we are highlighting former campers and how God has continued to work in their lives.
By Michael and Amanda Burrows – Troy, Ohio
**Michael’s first teen camp was in the early 2000’s. His now wife Amanda followed a year after. They have continued as adults, serving as counselors, staff, and teachers.
My grandfather attended church for thirty years. His favorite tune to sing when counting the offering on Sunday was called “Aurora” by The Andrews Sisters.
The line in the song that was memorable for me was, “When you smile and call me honey, is it me or just my money?” He would turn to me and say, “Son, we might go to church with a lot of rich people, but they sure don’t give as much as I do.”
I know the church was blessed to have my grandfather giving of his time and finances. He served on their financial board and helped pay for their bell tower project.
From him, I learned that money is a seed that we give to honor God. I saw that when we sow into a church that we believe is good ground, it can greatly impact a community.
“But some of the seeds fell onto good, rich soil that kept producing a good harvest. Some yielded thirty, some sixty – and some even one hundred times as much as was planted!” Mark 4:8 TPT
The easiest way to give would be to put a basket full of $100 bills on the street corner, so why do we give to our church? We believe the ministers have a pulse on what the community needs and have open hearts to follow the Lord’s direction.
It Starts by Listening
These are some steps that Amanda and I apply to financial giving: Listen, confirm, double it, give and smile.
- Listen with an attentive ear. God can impress someone’s need upon our heart during conversation or from their formal request.
For example, imagine this… your church is raising $12,000 for new chairs ($40 each). You first hear in your heart, “I could pay for four chairs.” That’s when we’re tempted to think, “Why would I contribute toward four when maybe just two is enough?”
The analogy continues in the next step:
- Confirm. Ask God, “Was that my thought or yours?” before jumping to “How am ‘I’ going to make this happen?”
The next step is to:
- Consider doubling it. If I agonize over the details of a particular financial giving opportunity, the Lord sometimes says, “Double it!”
I’ve learned to be fearless! Maybe his heart is to purchase four chairs or ALL of the chairs!
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” Jeremiah 32:37 NKJV
The next step can be challenging for me…
- The actual act of giving. Do it! And God is glorified in the action.
The final step is:
- Smile. In the beginning, God said, “Let there be light.”
In my example, He could have very easily said, “Let there be chairs!” He wants us to enjoy the blessing of giving and being in deeper relationship with Him as he leads us.
“The priestly ministry you are providing through your offering not only supplies what is lacking for God’s people, it inspires an outpouring of praises and thanksgiving to God himself. For as your extremely generous offering meets the approval of those in Jerusalem, it will cause them to give glory to God—all because of your loyal support and allegiance to the gospel of Christ, as well as your generous-hearted partnership with them toward those in need. Because of this extraordinary grace, which God has lavished on you, they will affectionately remember you in their prayers. Praise God for his astonishing gift, which is far too great for words!” II Corinthians 9:12-15 TPT
Changing Lives, Bringing Hope
Amanda and I believe that, with God, all things are possible. Our goal is to change lives and bring hope.
We are learning to give when and where the Spirit directs us. Whether it’s giving to our church, paying our neighbor’s electric bill, or buying someone a meal, we’ve learned that the Lord will supply as we are willing.
“For wherever two or three come together in honor of my name, I am right there with them!” Matthew 18:20 TPT
When we decide that God is big, big things happen!
Michael and Amanda have been married for 11 years. They’ve lived in Ohio for eight years, and rejoice in their children: Madelyn Grace, Parker Joseph and Gwenevere Grace.