This weekend we started a new series called “All-In,” in which we’re going to look at 5 Old Testament characters that went “all-in” on the mission of God. As a church, I want us all to consider what it looks like to go “all-in” for the mission of God.

I believe that we are at a very strategic time in the life of our church, one not altogether dissimilar from where each of these Old Testament figures found themselves. So throughout this series I want to paint for you where we are as a church, where we’ve been, and where I believe God wants to take us—and then call you to go all-in for it.

We have some unbelievably committed people here at this church that are, in just about every way, “all-in” on the mission of God. But a number of you are only “halfway in” or “sort of in.” Here’s why I say that: 50% of our attendees are not involved in any intentional ministry, either in the church or in the community; 50% are not involved in any sort of biblical community; 50% are not even covenant members of our church (at best they are common-law members shacking up with us without a covenant). And 50% of the adults who attend The Summit give next to nothing to kingdom work. Of those, half give nothing at all. Frankly, that is not a financial issue. That is a spiritual issue. 

(By the way, I realize that it’s impossible for me to know everything you’re doing, and I’m not setting myself up to be judge. But suffice it to say that there are a lot of people who are merely spectators in the church. Church for this group is more like an event that they attend than a community they are a part of or a mission they are committed to. They are fans, not true followers, of Jesus.)

One of the things we’re considering in this series is your financial commitment to the kingdom of God. That is certainly not the only factor, but it is one. Jesus said that how we spend our money indicates where our heart really is and where our true kingdom lies (Matt 6:19–21).

A lot of people object whenever a pastor talks about money. “Why does it always have to be about money?” They assume that I teach this stuff because I’m short on cash. But Jesus talked about money a lot—he had more to say about money than heaven and hell combined—because money is usually the most accurate barometer of where your heart is. Where you spend your money shoes where your real priorities lie; it shows what kingdom you really serve; it shows what God you really trust in.

Many people object to me talking about money precisely because how they spend their money indicates that their commitment to Christ is a sham. They are religious, but they are not genuine disciples of Jesus, and what they do with their money shows that. And they don’t like anybody pointing that out. You can talk a big game all day long, but your wallet betrays you!

But I say this every time I talk about giving, and I say it again: if you cannot get over the notion that “the church just wants my money,” then I would prefer you respond by giving somewhere else. I would rather you become generous and give elsewhere than let your inability to trust us keep you from investing in God’s kingdom. Maybe one day we will earn your trust, but until then, do not let this excuse keep you from becoming generous for God’s kingdom.

Here is the question I want you to consider over the next several weeks, from multiple angles: Are you all-in in the mission of God with your life? Not just committed to the church on the weekend, but with the biggest parts of your life. A few weeks ago John Jenkins, the president of Notre Dame,[1] said in an interview regarding Notre Dame’s entry into the ACC, “I just want to say emphatically and clearly, football aside, we’re all-in in the ACC. . . . We’re deeply committed to the ACC.”  Uhh… Notre Dame is all-in, except for football? Isn’t that what ND is known for? How could ND possibly call themselves “all-in” and leave out football?

What is the “football” of your life? For some of you it’s your money. Are you all-in with that? Are you willing to put the most significant part of your life on the line for God’s mission?

Think of it like this: if you have a breakfast of bacon and eggs, both the chicken and the pig were involved in your breakfast, but in different ways. The chicken made a contribution; the pig is “all-in.” Which better describes you?