Sent: Putting God First in Every Area
Aug 26, 2019
| By Abbey Temple
Nate and Sarah* knew they needed to establish a strong foundation for their marriage from the very beginning, particularly with their plans for communication and organizing their finances. After getting married last August, they were gifted an enrollment in Financial Peace University (FPU), which they began immediately with the hope that the classes would give them the guidance they needed.
“FPU helped us build that foundation together and allowed us to have a fresh start and the best start we needed heading into marriage,” Sarah said.
Following one of the suggestions from their time in FPU, the two started having weekly meetings to ensure they were on the same page when setting priorities with their finances.
“The weekly meetings felt forced at first, but soon we started looking forward to them,” Sarah said. “It really helped us set a standard for communication as we had to talk through our plans and learn to be accountable to each other.”
“Regularly revisiting our goals helped us stay focused, especially when we were feeling pressure from culture,” Nate said. “We wanted to make sure we set good habits before bad habits kicked in.”
Nate had a background in finance and enjoyed the process of setting budgets, but he said FPU helped push them from “formulaic, compulsory giving to generous, heart giving.” The desire grew to put God first not only in their finances and giving, but also in their careers, their marriage, and every area of their lives, including being open to go wherever God called them to go and do whatever God called them to do.
“I was open to being sent even before we were married,” Nate said. “I didn’t necessarily consider going overseas initially; at first I thought being sent might just mean moving from working in the corporate world to going into ministry in some capacity. If my experience could be used in the church somehow, then I was willing to be used for God.”
After sharing that desire with his campus pastor and several elders, Nate was eventually connected with Andre Mann, who oversees The Summit Church’s Faith at Work ministry. Andre suggested the idea that Nate and Sarah to move to a particular major city in the Middle East, where they could each work in their respective professional fields while living intentionally as missionaries, building relationships with coworkers and neighbors with the ultimate goal of sharing the gospel and building the local church.
It was a bold idea, one they hadn’t expected, but one both Sarah and Nate found themselves open to. As they began pursuing the move, God continued to confirm each step as they moved forward in the process.
“As we prayed about our plans, we saw God reveal direct answers to direct questions in really big ways,” Nate said. “He continued to show us that He was at work in this and was preparing us even before we began the process.”
“I didn’t have a strong desire for missions initially, but God continues to give me comfort and peace as He clearly confirms our steps. I’m learning to cling to God and my husband in new ways as God is teaching me to live obediently and intentionally wherever we’re placed.”
The majority of the people in the city they’ll soon call home are non-nationals, so Nate and Sarah will have the strategic opportunity to reach transplants and visitors from all over the world, including from countries closed to missionary work. Many will come to work in their city for a short time before heading back home to their communities in those closed countries.
Pastor J.D. often says that “The next wave of missions is on the backs of business,” and Nate and Sarah are excited to faithfully join that wave.
“FPU helped us learn early on that there’s freedom in generosity, not just financial generosity, but truly putting God first in all areas of our lives,” Nate said. “Moving overseas is counterintuitive to a lifestyle the world sets for us, but as we obey God’s calling for us to go, we are hoping to truly live life the way God wants us to as we give Him our first and best in all we do.”
* Names have been changed for their security.