“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 19:9-10)
In God’s instructions to the Israelites, He made a provision for the poor. In essence, He said, “Don’t be greedy. Don’t keep everything I give you for yourself. Leave some behind for those that come after you.”
For us today, there is certainly a monetary component to this admonition. Since most of us don’t live in an agrarian culture, we should leave some gleanings of our cash “harvest” for the poor. But I wonder if there isn’t also an application to Christians in their work.
When God blesses us with abundance, should we leave the extra for others to pick up? When we do something worth sharing, should we let others without the same resources as us take it and use it for free? Should we teach others what God’s allowed us to learn?
Obviously, this would be a bad idea if you are in a competitive industry, but I think it’s a great idea for those in Christian ministry. And what about for large churches? If we’re successful in Christian ministry, we have knowledge and resources that we can share. Those who are trying to get on their feet in ministry and struggling to make ends meet might really appreciate gleaning after those who have already found their way.
Here are some ideas for things we might be able to share with them:
- Documented processes
- Props and supplies from VBS, drama productions and closets that need to be cleaned out
- Leadership development
- Facilities to meet in, to do productions in, to baptize in…
- Hand-me-down equipment (computers, office supplies, furniture…)
- IT support
- Use of vans, buses or other vehicles
There are probably dozens of opportunities to share God’s blessings. If we aren’t using these things to their fullest capacity, are we being good stewards of what God has given us? Is putting all our stuff in storage or throwing it away anything like burying our “talents?”
Try putting an ad on Craigslist – “Free whatever to churches and/or ministries!” You might be an answer to their prayers!