Intentional spending

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Sending your money to fund USMB church planting efforts is a good investment

by Connie Faber

A quote from entrepreneur Roger Ward Babson comes to mind as I pay household bills each month: “More people should learn to tell their dollars where to go instead of asking them where they went.”

Since he was a millionaire philanthropist, Babson’s advice is worth following, to my way of thinking.

I also respect Babson’s recommendation because of the unique way in which he practiced what he preached. I’m thinking of the Babson Word Rocks, an intriguing hiking and mountain-biking trail in Gloucester, Mass.

Babson created a series of immense boulders etched with sayings to promote his inspirational ideals. He hired local stonecutters to carry out the task as a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression.

Originally the boulders stood in a groomed field, but today it can be difficult to find some of the 24 boulders in what is now an overgrown forest. But once discovered, their inscriptions—and their plain but sensible messages—are still unmistakably visible: "Use your head," "Stay out of debt," "Be on time," and "Never try, never win."

In his autobiography, Babson admits that his family thought he was crazy: “My family says that I am defacing the boulders and disgracing the family with these inscriptions, but the work gives me a lot of satisfaction, fresh air, exercise and sunshine. I am really trying to write a simple book with words carved in stone instead of printed paper.”

This brings me back to Babson’s admonishment that we send our dollars on intentional journeys. One cause I invite you to support is U.S. Mennonite Brethren church planting efforts. Last year, USMB announced its intention to partner with district conferences to plant six new Mennonite Brethren churches in the United States every year for the next 10 years. This goal was accomplished in 2012 and as of June—the halfway point of the current calendar year—we’re midway to our 2013 goal in terms of new church plants.

We are not, however, meeting the related goal of funding six new church plants in 2013. If U.S. Mennonite Brethren congregations would forward 2 1/2 percent of their budget to USMB as requested, funding for church plants—and all national programs—would not be an issue. While Babson wrote on rocks, we want to see God’s transforming love written on the hearts and in the lives of men, women and children who do not yet know him as Lord and Savior. So I challenge each USMB congregation and household to “tell” your dollars to support USMB church planting ventures.

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