1. Tithing Sets a Good Baseline. God has led the Abrudans into vocational ministry and then into real estate and digital media companies and now, for Marius, back into vocational ministry. But tithing—as a joyful rule of thumb, not as a duty—has been a constant.
“As I look back, I think it’s been always kind of a constant in my Christian walk,” says Marius. “Even in college, I would get my monthly pay and put aside my tithe and the next day, I would get a chance to earn more or some sort of gift. I never expected all these things, but they would just happen". “I would use giving to kind of test God in my early years. I would play this game of ‘who can give more’ and God always won. I would give and He would give more. It was reassuring from my early years in faith.”
2. God Uses Our Marketplace Skills. Marius was surprised when the Lord led him into real estate. “But He’s been faithful in providing and confirming that this is the right move for us every time. He opened doors for me to go into business. I never saw myself involved in real estate, but he opened those doors”. Marius became successful in real estate as their family joined a church plant.
And then God’s design made a bit more sense. No Romanian church had ever secured a bank loan. But the church felt led to a piece of property that used to be an office building. The church was going to need four things: (1) a great sale price, (2) a bank loan, (3) extensive renovations, and (4) funding.
“God allowed me to put my new real estate knowledge to work for the church,” Marius says. “I got to negotiate the acquisition, get the first-ever Romanian bank loan to a church, and find the materials and labor for the renovation. All my business management skills were helpful. That was a blessing in my life". And the Abrudans’ business success also allowed them to give financially. “We placed all my company’s financial resources at the church’s disposal. That was a major step of faith, but it became one of the bigger blessings that we’ve had as a family.”
3. Be Direct in Requesting Reports from Ministries. “As the economy has improved and more Christian businessmen have the ability to give,” says Marius, “I’ve seen them keep their distance from some ministries.” When asked why that is, Marius says, “They’ve been hurt in the past. Ministries only come when they need something. But the givers were expecting more than just being asked for money.”
What did the givers want? Marius explains, “The givers expect at least some feedback or a personal thank you. That goes a long way. I want givers to understand this: when you give, it’s not wrong or shameful to say ‘here’s $2000 for your camp. When you’re done, I would like to hear from you’”. “Givers should be more direct in communicating their expectations. Ministry workers should be more aware of the givers’ position. You don’t look at them as milk cows, but instead get them involved.”