A Building for a Buck
When my wife, Iliana, and I started our church, West Coast Believers Center International (WCBC), we made a conscious decision to depend upon the favor of God to cover our ministry. As we moved forward in obedience, our congregation immediately began to experience tremendous miracles of God’s favor.
At our very first service, we were given a brand new sound system, complete with speakers, a 24-channel soundboard, microphones, cables and a wireless lapel microphone. During our first year of ministry, we experienced supernatural debt cancellation and supernatural increase of our resources. Our first utility bills showed credits. It wasn’t just the church that experienced this favor; the people who helped us to plant WCBC did, too. One man’s home electric bill consistently read $1.35 for an entire year. When he had the electric company check the meter, the technician said, “We can’t find anything wrong with your meter, sir.”
The greatest manifestations of God’s favor happened right before our first anniversary. The Lord told us that April of that year would be a resurrection month for the ministry, and that the people who were attending the church at that time needed to be ready for it. He said that He would be sending us more people. We had not experienced any marked growth during our first year, but that April we had 50 visitors in one service alone, and within three months our congregation had grown to more than 200 people.
Shortly thereafter, we were approached by another local congregation whose pastor had moved away. They said they had heard good things about us and asked if we would consider merging the two churches, joining them at their location. We prayed and felt that this opportunity was of the Lord—and within one month, two good churches became one great church.
Two weeks later, we received word that the building the church was leasing had been sold. My first action as pastor of our merged congregation was to meet with the building’s new owners to discuss the possibility of renewing our lease, which was set to expire in four months. We began to pray for the favor of God to go before us and touch the hearts of those with whom I would speak. I felt the favor of God so strongly that I began to confess that we would be allowed to remain in the building at a cost of $1.00 for an entire year. Some people laughed, and others thought I was crazy, but none of these things moved me.
When the day came for me to meet with the president and board members of the organization that had purchased the building, I told them about the ministry, our vision, and the things that we had already accomplished. When all was said and done, the president turned to me and said, “Pastor Bulger, we like you, and we like the things that you are doing for the community. So here’s what we’re going to do: Your lease expires in four months, but we are going to extend the lease for one year for a total annual cost of only $1.00.” Praise God for His favor!
We needed that building more than we needed money for the rent, and God’s favor gave us both. During the year we were in that facility, we began holding double services, and when our 12 months were up, we had outgrown the building. The favor of God gave us that first building, and it has given us every building we have occupied since then.
The Word of God and our experience as a church have taught us that when we think we need to be praying for finances, what we really need is the favor of God—because the favor of God can do more than what money can buy.