“Wisdom for Wealth. For Life.” Episode 28: How God Can Do The Impossible With Mark Batterson

“…Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 (NIV)

Are you believing God can do all things, big and small, beyond what our minds can grasp?

Blue Trust senior private wealth advisor, David Campaigne recently talked with bestselling author and pastor, Mark Batterson about God doing ‘the impossible’ during his nearly 30-years of working in various ministries.

Mark serves as lead pastor of National Community Church (NCC) in Washington, DC, one church with multiple locations. NCC also owns and operates Ebenezers Coffeehouse, The Miracle Theatre, the DC Dream Center, and Capital Turnaround as gathering places for the local community. He is also the author of 24 books, including the New York Times bestselling book, The Circle Maker.

Dreaming Big. Trusting God. 

NCC’s reach today was unimaginable to Mark at the beginning of his ministry. After moving to DC in 1994 for inner city missions, Mark and his wife Lora were called to plant a church that would reach people who normally wouldn’t consider going to church at all. NCC’s first Sunday service on January 7, 1996, was attended by three people: Mark, Lora, and their son Parker. After that, a fledgling group of 19 members came together to form the core of NCC.

Worship services were first held at the movie theaters at Union Station, located four blocks from Capitol Hill. Additional locations at movie theaters throughout the DC area and Northern Virginia were added in the coming years. Today, Mark acknowledges that the church’s reach is evidence of God doing ‘the impossible.’ “It’s no surprise that real estate is very expensive in our area. However, when God gives a vision, He also gives provision,” he says. “In 1996, I led a prayer circle around Capitol Hill believing for big things; today, NCC owns six properties totaling 100,000 square feet within one mile of the capitol. And we’re debt-free as a church, which is truly miraculous.”

Meeting at the Post-Modern ‘Well’

When it comes to finding innovative ways of bringing church to the community, Mark believes in, “Dreaming big, thinking long, and praying hard. A God-sized dream is beyond our ability and resources to even imagine. As humans, we tend to create God in our image, but God transcends the space and time constraints that we can understand. Having a big dream keeps you on your knees in prayer, and when it happens, God gets the glory for it.”

Mark says that one of the church’s ‘crazier’ ideas was to purchase an abandoned crack house and build a coffeehouse. In the spring of 2006, construction was completed on Ebenezers Coffeehouse. “I was inspired by the biblical story of the woman at the well and the fact that Jesus met her there,” he explains. “Wells were natural gathering places in ancient cultures. Today’s coffeehouses are postmodern wells.” Now one of DC’s most popular coffeehouses, Ebenezers roasts its own coffee and has served more than a million customers—neighbors, businesspeople, and members of Congress alike.

Generosity Above All

In all NCC’s endeavors, a commitment to core convictions invites God into the equation of everything the church undertakes. “From the beginning, we’ve desired to care for the poor and do what is near and dear to God’s heart in missions,” Mark says.

Part of that commitment includes prioritizing generosity, which NCC has done since its earliest days. Even when money was tighter, Mark held fast to his decision to tithe and gave a $50 check to missions from one of his first paychecks. Today, NCC has given more than $25 million to missions. “Whatever God gives us, we’re going to try to give away and flip the blessing to others,” Mark says. “Success is not how much you make; it’s how much you give. When God blesses us, He doesn’t do it to raise our standard of living; He does it to raise our standard of giving.”

Gratitude is also a huge component of NCC’s mindset. “Generosity begins with gratitude. The Jewish Talmud says that if you receive a blessing from God but fail to give thanks, it’s as if you’ve stolen from God,” Mark explains. “Our goal is to leverage money in a way that will change hearts and perform miracles in someone else’s life.”

If you would like to talk to a Blue Trust advisor about how you can be more generous or about developing a financial plan, please get in touch with us at 800.987.2987 or email blog@bluetrust.com.

Success is not how much you make; it’s how much you give. When God blesses us, He doesn’t do it to raise our standard of living; He does it to raise our standard of giving.”

– Mark Batterson

In our “Wisdom for Wealth. For Life.” podcast series, we share financial advice and wisdom from our network of wealth advisors and thought leaders in the industry, and from around our community of over 10,000 financially blessed families who apply biblical wisdom to their financial planning and giving.

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