The following is an excerpt from our Lead Pastor Rob Ketterling’s new book Fix It:
The banker could tell I was devastated, but he didn’t offer any pastoral comfort. He concluded, “I hate to break the news to you, but you’re not going to be able to buy a building.”
His words were a body blow. If we couldn’t buy a building, we couldn’t grow; if we couldn’t grow, we’d stagnate; and if we stagnated, we’d either die or become irrelevant. A fearful future flashed before my eyes. I had tried to do what God had called me to do, but it looked like it was all going down the drain. We’d hit a wall. I had no answers. It looked hopeless.
In about five seconds, I went from being a man filled with faith to being totally crushed, but there was no point belaboring the situation. I stood up, thanked the banker for meeting with me, and escorted him to the lobby. As we walked out, I noticed a couple who had been coming to our church for a couple months. They were in the reception area waiting to talk to me, but they didn’t have an appointment. As soon as the banker left the building, I realized I needed to put on a good front for the couple, so I instantly switched from darkest depression to God’s man of faith and power! I walked over to them and said, “Hey, good to see you. I was just talking to the banker about getting a loan for our new building.” I was smiling on the outside, but I was dying on the inside. I asked, “How can I help you?”
The wife said, “Actually, we want to talk to you about giving a big gift to the church.”
I said, “That’s great. Just write a check and put it in the offering this week.”
She looked a bit puzzled and after a few seconds said, “Okay, but it’s kind of a big gift.”
I went to DEFCON 2: “Then you can give the check to our business manager so the ushers and anyone else in the congregation won’t see it.”
She repeated, “Okay,…but it’s a pretty big gift.”
That was the third time she had used the term “big gift,” so I was very curious. I asked, “Well…how big is it?”
She said, “We need to tithe half a million dollars.”
My mind jumped to DEFCON 5. I thought, Does she mean the tithe is on half a million dollars of the tithe is half a million dollars? There’s a big difference! Both are wonderful, but one changes the month and the other changes the trajectory of the church.
They explained together, “We’ve had a business deal for $5 million pending for a couple of years, and it’s going through now. We want to give $500,000 to the church.”
My mouth said “Thank you,” but my heart said, You just saved the day! This is a miracle!
The woman told me, “Oh, don’t thank us. Tithing is obedience.”
We talked for a few more minutes, and they left. I was in awe.
Don’t miss this! The problem had been in my office while God’s miracle was waiting in the reception area. The problem and the solution walked past each other. I think God gathered the angels and told them, “Hey, come watch this. You’ll love it! Rob has not idea what I’ve orchestrated behind the scenes. This answer is going to blow his mind and show him I’m more involved in his life and ministry than he can imagine!”
There are some problems that I need to fix, there are some problems others, need to fix, but there are some problems that only God can fix. This was one of them. In this moment, I learned that God loves His church far more than I do. If I do my part, and they do their part, God will do His part. Breakthroughs require the presence and power of God.