Monday, January 14

What to do with a billion $ - by Wolfgang Simson

Blueprint of a contemporary Kingdom expense sheet

If we define the Kingdom of God as the domain of God’s uncontested rule, then no amount of human ingenuity, creativity, entrepreneurship and connectedness can substitute the core issue: how would Jesus spend his money that is on our accounts if we would not contest it?

Kingdom principles are, in their original Hebrew, pre-secularized and pre-democratized form, ethical absolutes that Jesus the King both modeled and taught. The economic principles of the Kingdom are no exception and demonstrate that there are two radically different and opposed sets of economic systems: Kingdom economics, and the economics of Babylon.

The validity of Kingdom economic principles are, in addition to this, compounded by the historical fact that the early church as recorded in the New Testament lived by those principles without intervention or rebuke from the King-which he would have surely done if they were off the mark, setting a false example for those that follow in the course of history. Historic progress and cultural or political change does not replace eternal Kingdom values-it simply requires a wise and culturally relevant re‐application of unchangeable financial principles in today’s world. As in any Kingdom, there are values and specific issues that requireprioritization . This is why the following list follows Kingdom order:

ONE) Orphans and widows in the Kingdom.

Principle: Family first. We must demonstrate supernatural and practical love and mercy (diaconia) towards our own poor – or we dare not call ourselves a family. As long as some of our own family members need to crawl whimpering, cold and hungry into a street corner or are unprotected and lost, any lofty idea, vision or investment plan becomes cruel (see 1 John). The most vulnerable citizens of the Kingdom are widows and orphans. We are required to “do good to everyone, first and foremost to those in the family of believers” (Gal 6:10; see also John 13:2 and Gal 2:10).

Application: 25% of our billion, $250 m, goes to uncared for widows and orphans, especially family members of those killed for their faith in countries like Indonesia, India, Central-Asia or China. Simply organizing people into orphanages is neither Kingdom policy nor would it be enough: God wants his most vulnerable children adopted (clothed, fed and socially integrated).

TWO) Spiritual mothers and fathers.

Principle: Those who have become mature trainers, coaches and equippers of others are in other words, spiritual parents, and therefore “workers worth their pay” (Luke 10:7; 1 Cor. 9, Matt. 20 etc.). People who fully invest themselves in parenting and equipping others (Eph. 4:11‐13), just like Jesus from age 30 onwards, have no time to do both business and parenting-with the exception of Paul’s brief time as a tentmaker or in an apostolic start-up phase. Paul uses strong language in 1 Cor 9:14 and speaks of a not a suggestion but a command of Jesus that “those who preach the gospel shall live from the gospel.” The key group in expanding the Kingdom of God are, reflecting biblical priorities, not evangelists, but “apostles and prophets”. The church in Philippi raised a substantial and liberating sum for the needy apostle Paul who, lacking support from a church that should support him, had no other choice than to “make tents” for a limited time (Acts 18:1 ‐5; Phil4:15) which vitally limited his explosive apostolic potential.

Application: 40%, $ 400m that go towards a strategic financial First Aid and global re-instatement project, particularly for apostles and prophets. Reason: most pastors and teachers (theologians) today are salaried, while most healthy “apostles and prophets”, the research & development wing of the Kingdom, are, in most countries, unpaid at the fringes or even outside the radar of the traditional church for many centuries. This has created a backlog of thousands of unpaid (apostolic and prophetic) workers James 5 style, and if the mobilizers of others are themselves tied down, standstill is inevitable.

THREE) Apostolic projects and Kingdom initiatives.

Principle: Paul arranged a financial collection for the aging grandmother churchof Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:3); the apostolic council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) needed someone to pay for the chicken; logistical challenges required money for trips.

Application: 25% or $ 250 m. The key area of Kingdom advancement today are areas long and painfully overlooked by a non-apostolic church: the creation of models or Kingdom outposts that demonstrate the superiority of the Kingdom in areas like family, education, culture (technology, nutrition, sports, arts, media etc), business & finance as well as politics. Here we need to fund inventors, pioneers and Kingdom entrepreneurs and their initiatives, as they develop Kingdom solution for the worlds problems.

FOUR) The outside poor.

Principle: Diaconia to those outside the church. Giving to the poor who were outside the Kingdom was not compulsory, but voluntary (Mark 14:7: “…and if you want, you can help them anytime”), a very wise emphasis forgiving-priorities by Jesus himself. Otherwise the never ending and screaming need of the poverty of this world would completely sap the entire budget of the church in no time-and leave not budget for any self-preservation or advance strategies.

Application: 10% or $ 100 m. In light of many government and transnational initiatives like UNICEF, plus 10.000’s of NGOs with asocial and philanthropic funding focus-as well as initiatives like Bill Gates’ “billionaires give half their kingdom club”, the MicahChallenge or the Copenhagen Consensus, 100 or 200m of additional Christian money will not swing the pendulum much at this point. Poverty has other roots than a lack of money. This is why social charity towards the outside poor is, kin typical upside Kingdom fashion-at the end, not the beginning, of our list.

(For more on this see Wolfgang Simson: The Starfish Manifesto, downloadable at


Tim A said...

"...with the exception of Paul’s brief time as a tentmaker or in an apostolic start-up phase."
How does he come up with a "brief time" for Paul being a tentmaker? He said he would rather "die" then not be able to boast that he ministered free of charge. He met his own needs with the Ephesians - Acts 20; with the Thessalonians 2 Thes. 3; and with the Corinthians 1 Cor. 9. If financing was brief, it was when he received gifts from the Philippians while he was in Thessalonica. He told them, I have enough.

"...Philippi raised a substantial and liberating sum for the needy apostle Paul who, lacking support from a church that should support him..."

No he was setting an "example for them (Thessalonians) to follow" (2 Thes. 3) by working to meet his own needs. He did not expect them to pool their giving to pay for him to teach them or anyone else.

"...Reason: most pastors and teachers (theologians) today are salaried,..."

He he is unable to contest the institutionalized tradition of paying one hired guy for every 150 believers who will dominate their gathering time and be a perpetual dependency teacher, then he is stuck with 86% of giving going to this system as it currently is doing on average. This one assumption sucks up 86% or more. All capitol campaigns go to fund facilities for this assumption.

Simpson has not come to grips with Paul's power teaching and example on "refusing the right to be paid" for kingdom building.

Simpson neglects to address the very expensive command to "reach all nations". All of them. He should have addressed Americans (where God has deposited most of His financial resources currently) systematizing the funding of 3rd world evangelists to bring the gospel to the unreached at a much more strategic cost per agent and better skills at language learning and local adaptation.

I was born and raised in the Philippines in 1956. There are millions of believers there, tens of thousands of those trained with the gospel, but expecting a hired preacher for every church. So in their poor economy, 100% of their giving is consumed to pay the preacher. If they were to learn that 80% of their giving can go beyond their fellowship, and if Americans did the same, there would be tens of thousands of evangelists sent all over the unreached world. My own brother in law is an American style church planter there now and is completely unwilling to admit the serious error of hired experts dominating the gathering of God's people and consuming 100% of the "giving" and making it pooling for the "givers". He is stuck and is assuming the Filipinos are also stuck in tradition.

I don't think so. God can accomplish what He has asked for, if only we will admit we set a bogus example with the institutionalized pastorate.

J. Guy Muse said...


Thanks for stopping by and for the comments. At the end of the post is a link to Simson's "Starfish Manifesto." A lot of these ideas and principles are treated in a much more detailed fashion in the SM. I think you would enjoy working your way through this document. For me it was a challenging read, but as I shared when I reviewed the book a couple of years ago, it is about ten years ahead of where most of us are, and therefore will likely be misunderstood by many. Anyway, give it a shot, and let us know what you think.

Tim A said...

Before I read the Starfish Manifesto I have to ask why would he say anything different than he does here? If he believes what he wrote here, it will be the same there.

J. Guy Muse said...

Hi again Tim,

What does WS say differently in this article from what he wrote in the Starfish Manifesto? Not sure to what you you are referring to. Thanks.

Brian Byrne said...

Hi Wolfgang

My name is Brian Byrne and I'm the principal of the School for Disciples. The website is The heart of our vision is to train Christians to be disciples belonging to a house church which invites non-believers to one open meeting a month. There is much more in School for Disciples than can be told here and I believe that it is important to make contact with you. In six months in Africa we have seen the work grow from 11 cells to 92, with cells and house churches, from 130 members to 1013 members with a growth rate that doubles numbers every five months. And in that same six months over 490 have been added to the church. We are now wporking to establoish the work in India and also in China but my heart is for the Lord to open doors in the west where hearts are often much harder. So Europs and America and also my own country Australia is very much on our hearts. If you woulr like to explore this vision with us, please post a response on your blog.

In the service of the King


Molong on Being Church said...

I read the starfish manifesto, I also read many books on church stuff, if I'd read wolfs book first I would not need to read books about church anymore. Actually, what wolf said here about this four points is not found in the starfish book. Wolf just came here last week and I ask him about it. "Why I couldn't find in the starfish book what you've said to me five years ago about apostolic hub?" These four points then is part of what a hub is. His answer is, "it be too much then for the readers, for Christianity at that time so I didn't include them there."

Starfish book is the best read I've got. Now we have set up an apostolic hub here. Reaching up to the six generation in 7 years. Wolfs book is way years ahead for all of us. It's not for all by the way. Not all can take it. But it's too good for us. Very good.