Something that I have sensed for a little while now, is that the members of the body are stepping into an opportunity to become multi-vocational or having many diverse streams of income. The Lord is bridging different areas in our world, through our lives into a beautiful intersection. New areas where we will see our gift mix expressed in unexpected ways, and engaging new people. The Lord doesn't want His children to have to endlessly struggle or campaign to get by either. Not that there is anything wrong with engaging others in what He is doing through our lives, because it is important to be a channel of supply to others in need and a communicator and connector where the rest of the body has the opportunity to be the loving and generous hands, feet and heart of the Lord to those in need. I do believe however, that the Lord wants us to be an overflowing and abundant resource, and to give us strategies in order to see this happen.
It was last year when I found myself working out how many streams of potential income we had combined the two of us. Currently we have six different kinds of streams, potentially seven but I'm not currently counting it because of where the funds flow to. Each stream differs in frequency and commitment. Some are regular or primary, some occasional, and some long term growth and investment focused. The streams are type diverse. Some business and trade related, some creative, some christian ministry related, some entertainment related, some teaching, some technical and some analytical. Interestingly, many of these diversities also combine together in different mixtures in each stream.
While we are not at all flush... we still rent, have three very hungry teens, live in Auckland where you pretty much need to be born a millionaire these days for basic living requirements, pay the highest tax you possibly can, and run our own business that seems to ask for more than it can give at times. We have also spent much of our lives living generously, sometimes to our detriment, both financially and practically. But have also allowed ourselves to enjoy life with our kids as much as we can while they still want to hang about. We also haven't been very good at promoting ourselves with what we offer to others, preferring to fly below the radar. And we have also offered the majority of our time, energy and gifts freely just because we have loved to do so. But the Lord has really been challenging me that we need to value what we have to offer more, otherwise we willingly give permission for others to benefit but we are left wondering why we are left short. It requires boundaries around time and energy, and discernment where this time is spent. Not all investments made are of the financial kind, but the discernment is in where and who to the commitments are made. We have also had to make sure we weren't making choices that wouldn't put us in difficult situations by doing so. We have experienced value from those who have honoured us financially in our service to them or their community, though it wasn't expected, it has meant so much.
These diverse streams are growth focused areas, rather than short term gleans. Each is more about the variety of life and all it can offer us to grow in and what we get to pass on to our kids. Each stream is an area where we can develop new skills that we build on over time, and then we are discovering, teach others these skills. Having multiple streams has been a great buffer to cover other streams when the unexpected has come up. Some of these streams don't make much in the way of financial gains currently, but do see other valuable fruit.
We had not planned to expand our business in 2018, in our minds this was still another few years down the track at least, but God gave us a strategy and compelled us that it was in fact time to start. Little did we know how His accelerated timing would then open up time to take on other streams, and to be set up to be able to see our business carry on when unexpected health challenges would have previously made that impossible. Isn't our Father amazing how He takes care of us before time knowing what we will need. And because we already had another regular smaller stream of income by the time health issues arose, that stream generously took care of us in the gap where healing was needed financially and practically.
I can't help but think about all the new things we have learnt to be able to do by engaging in each of these streams that we didn't know we could or would do. And I am sure there are other streams yet to come, and still plenty more growth within these current streams as well. It's also been fascinating to see the diversity even within each stream expanding, almost like smaller streams flowing from each main stream.
So let me ask you now... how many diverse streams of potential income do you currently have or if married between you both? No worries if you only have one, maybe that one thing has a high focus and time demand. Here are some thoughts to consider if you would like to add new and diverse income streams in your life:
* What things do you love to do for fun or interests you regularly?
* What is something you have always wanted to try?
* How much time could you currently allocate to a new stream?
* Is there a strategy that grows what you are currently doing?
* Is there a strategy that frees up some time in what you are currently doing?
* Have you done something in the past you could pick up again in a new way?
* What long term investment ideas excite you?
* Do you have any inventive concepts you could action?
* Consider a training facility to learn a new skill or educate yourself. There is so much info and even courses online you can access.
* Ask others what they think you are great at.
* Who are the people around you, what are their strengths and interests and how could those intersect with yours?
* What needs are you passionate about seeing answers to? Ask for a strategy.
* Do you need to value and steward your time and gifting's better?
* Is there something that you are already doing that you should be getting paid to do?
* Do you need to ask for a raise or adjust your rates?
* Has your growth in a particular area made what you offer more specialised or valuable?
* Can you teach a class/host webinar on what you know or do?
* Can you identify areas or people where you need to adjust your investment where they are benefitting but you feel like a vending machine with no coin or relational deposits?
* Don't be afraid to try something out of the norm or unfamiliar.
This generation has many with multiple streams, and it's a wonderful thing and a real gift and freedom we have to do this. Some of them creating sustainable solutions while discovering more of themselves and capacity in the process. We understand the value of leaving a legacy and an inheritance. Just imagine the greatness of innovation, creation and development our children will walk in the near future!