Take The Challenge: The Paul & Tish Crews Story

“This is such a God story,” Tish Crews confessed when she first sat down with her husband to share how their choice to answer a prayer challenge led to the couple focusing on learning how to trust God in giving. “We became more intentional and more dedicated to prayer. That’s really what our story is about. It’s not, ‘We did a prayer challenge.’ It’s really, ‘We challenged the Lord through our prayers and He’s increased our faith,’ which is going to increase everything else in our lives.”
Back in November of 2021, Paul and Tish Crews started a 40-day prayer challenge. They had never done that in their marriage before. They had prayed together in the past and each had their own prayer time, but never circled a goal together. They never said, “This is what we want God to do in our lives.” That challenge pushed them to start being really specific about their purpose.
Pastor Jason was talking about legacy and called the church members to help support the giving goal. As a couple, they started praying over how much money they could give because they knew that Paul always gets a bonus at the end of the year from his job. They had a number in their head and believed they were going to give a certain amount of money. But then a guest pastor came in and was telling the story about building their church. That pastor said, “Whatever your wife says, that’s what you give.” Paul felt that was great because he figured Tish would say nothing, but instead she came back with, “We got to give our whole savings.” As it turned out, they both came up with the same number but didn’t know it. After that service, Paul wasn’t going to say his number because he knew if he said “Hey, we should give it all, he knew his wife would say ‘yes’.” So, Paul stayed quiet. And then a couple of days later, he still didn’t want to believe it was the right amount of money. But Tish said the same thing again and he knew it was right.
The problem was, Paul knew their budget like the back of his hand. He knew how much they were going to give for their tithe, to pay off their debt, and the extra legacy challenge. There was no way they could afford it all. But rather than give up, they prayed over it together. That prayer paid off big time because when Paul got his bonus check, it was double what they were expecting, giving them the ability to meet every one of their needs, plus a double portion. “God always wants to give you more,” Paul encouraged. “We were able to give because it’s our heart to leave a legacy. It was just so wonderful because we want to be generous,” Tish added with a smile.
What transformed the most for the couple was a switch in their thought process about prayer. They went from praying, “We need You” to “What do You need us to do for Your kingdom?” That change in the way they viewed their walk with God radically altered their goals for 2022. Their focus is now going to be about generosity and prayer. “The more we give, the more He provides. Like when I went back to school and he provided me with the computer I needed,” Tish explained. Tish is currently working on her four-year degree at Discovery College and had been praying about a computer, but they didn’t think it was in the budget at the time. They went to help somebody else buy one, and while they were there, the salesperson told her she could get the computer that was already on sale at a discounted price because she was a student. It made it attainable. “If we hadn’t been generous with our time to help that other person, the Lord wouldn’t have been able to bless us with that deal. That was God answering our prayer because we were faithful.” The Crews became aware that as much as they gave, they were getting blessed back so much more.
Not only were their finances blessed, but their marriage as well. They’ve seen a huge change in their relationship. “That’s actually our word for our marriage this year—generosity. If we can be generous with anything, we will.” For example, the Lord has given them a beautiful home and it’s big enough to fit many more people than they need. If someone is in need of a place to stay, they’re going to open up their home to them. “We want to be generous with our time, talents, and treasures,” Paul emphasized before they finished up their interview and headed back to spend their time in the church’s kids’ ministry. That’s just who they are now, givers who have figured out that they can’t out give God.
Story Curator – Jenna Ciecalone