The Triad Echo of God’s Call

One of my more enjoyable ministry experiences was conceptualizing, organizing, and running Men’s Adventure Weekends with Hope Chapel in San Pedro, California. It was a simple concept: break everyone randomly into twelve tribes; put them in competitions around physical, spiritual, and intellectual tasks; watch them grow closer to God. Every weekend was the same—we would head out with a group of pensive men and return with a group of men who had experienced transformation through God.

I share this, not because of how great those weekends were, but because we patterned the concept, unintentionally, around a biblical concept that permeates the fabric of our culture: the triad. A triad is simply a grouping of three things in connection with each other: the Three Musketeers, the Three Stooges, the Three Amigos, (insert your own pop culture reference here: Luke, Han, and Leia; Harry, Ron, Hermione; etc.)

Persuasive communication has a Rule of Three, indicating that in order to change behavior toward your desired outcome, you need to present the same idea three times. Have you heard the radio commercials for monster truck rallies? “SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!”

It is not a coincidence that the idea of the triad seeps into much of our lives—it is a standard of God’s creation. You could argue that we are pre-wired to like triads.

As believers in Christ we have faith in the highest of all triads, the Holy Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

As CDF Capital considered how we fulfill our mission of Helping Churches Grow, unsurprisingly, it is articulated as a triad: through providing capital resources to churches, we address the Spiritual, Leadership, and Financial needs of God’s Church.

  1. This is not just a strategy of an organization, but rather a deeply rooted principal that is echoed throughout Scripture.
  2. This focus makes intuitive sense. It is patterned after a biblical triad that is seen in Scripture multiple times.
  3. This triad is not the Holy Trinity, but rather a framework to understand our work in the context of God’s imminent Kingdom.

Three Scriptures

The Spiritual, Leadership, and Financial triad we focus on at CDF is based in God’s Word:

“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young.” —Proverbs 1:1-4

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” —Micah 6:8

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” — Matthew 6:33

Though these three pieces of Scripture span multiple eras of biblical history, they have three elements in common:

  1. A spiritual dynamic: “words of insight”; “walk humbly”; “seek first his kingdom”
  2. A leadership dynamic: “doing what is right and just and fair”; “act justly”; “his righteousness”
  3. A financial[1] dynamic: “giving prudence”; “love mercy”; “all these things[2]

It is no accident that this dynamic exists. God does not just care about our spiritual life or our ability to lead others in that spirituality, He also cares about our lives here on Earth.

This is our tale, the story we share. CDF does not just care about the financial life of the churches we serve; we care equally about the spiritual lives and the leadership of those churches.

Three Leaders

The most prominent echo of this triad is found at the end of the Babylonian exile. Most churchgoing Americans are familiar with Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you...” Unfortunately, using this as a prophetic word for today ignores the context of the prophecy:

“This is what the Lord says: ‘When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” —Jeremiah 29:10-11

This prophecy was made manifest through three men: Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah.

Zerubbabel

“In the second month of the second year, after they came to the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak began the work.” —Ezrah 3:8

Zerubabbel restored the Spiritual life of Israel by rebuilding the Temple.

Ezra

“Ezra arrived in Jerusalem in the fifth month of the seventh year of the king. He had begun his journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month, and he arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month, for the gracious hand of his God was on him. For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.” —Ezra 7:8-10

Ezra restored the Leadership hierarchy of Israel by reengaging the Law.

Nehemiah

“They said to me, ‘Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.’ When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.” —Nehemiah 1:3-4

Nehemiah restored the Financial strength of Israel by rebuilding the city walls.

Three Objectives

The future of CDF will continue to be shaped by our alignment with this Scriptural echo. We worship the highest of all triads, the Holy Trinity, and because of this we are called to express our obedience through providing our triad: Spiritual, Leadership, and Financial Capital.

Thank you for caring about these three objectives along with us. Because of your investments with CDF, we are able to provide for the Spiritual, Leadership, and Financial needs of churches. Through these three, we are blessed to come alongside and Help Churches Grow.

 

[1] Finance is a term that is used to describe both corporate and personal ability to provide for needs. Another term for this, which is more common in Christian circles, is provision.

[2] The idea of prudence and mercy are both tied specifically to ideas of wealth and provision.

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