A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to talk with a gentleman who was visiting our church during an annual event. After introducing myself as the pastor, the man felt it was necessary to tell me about his previous church experiences with many different congregations and the issues he had with each one, and the reasons he left those churches. He then asked me the question, "do you preach about money?" to which I replied "I believe preaching about money and possessions is vitally important for Christian growth". His response took me by surprise as he stated "I don't go to church anymore, and I certainly will not give money anymore because all the church does is give it away." Wow! My internal dialogue immediately began inside my head as I thought to myself how great it would be if the world really saw the Church doing this, and of course, if the Church actually followed through in giving it away. I did respond to the man by simply stating "Well, yes, you are correct. We do exist to give it away." After an invitation to meet with me, the man dismissed himself and I have not seen him since (and I think I showered that day!)
I don't think Jesus was kidding when he said that his true followers would literally give up their lives, even risking their lives, for the sake of following him (Matthew 16:24). In the same manner, I see the Church being most effective when we give it all away. We are simply the stewards to care for what is rightfully God's in the first place, including our lives. Are we willing to give up our lives? I know that I have a lot more praying to do before I can say that I am really that committed. Maybe this is one of those times when God's strength is made perfect in our weakness.
What about you?
What do you think about the Church being known as a place that gives it all away? How does this thought influence your personal walk with Jesus?
Join the Conversation...