Why do organizations such as United Way exist? The answer is simple. The church of Jesus Christ has rejected the call to be salt and light in the world as described in Matthew 25: 31-46. In other words, we dropped the ball and were more than happy to watch it roll away!
Somewhere along the way, we decided that we had more lofty goals to pursue “for” Jesus. After all, buildings, staff salaries, and programs require a tremendous amount of money. We must be ever so careful how we use “His” resources. “Ministry” must go forward and we can only do so much.
About a year and a half ago, I sat in (that means endured) on a “church” business meeting. The church was struggling financially, so drastic changes needed to be made. It was decided that cuts should take place in the area of “outside ministries”. As one man stated, “We’ve got no business trying to foot the bill for ministry that doesn’t impact this church directly. How can we justify robbing our own ministries of necessary resources?”
By the way, these “outside ministries” accounted for less than 5% of their total budget.
In hindsight, I wish I had had the courage to stand up and ask the man where in scripture would one find justification for such remarks. Sadly, it is this mindset that is the very essence of the word hypocrisy. It’s no wonder people are leaving “churches” in droves.
Before I wrap this little blessed blog post up, I’d like to present some information that might challenge your thinking on the whole subject of what could happen if God’s people decided to wake up and step up.
According to their website, the 2011 fundraising goal for our local United Way is 3.6 million. These funds are distributed to the various agencies that exist to meet the needs of others in Whitfield County. By the way, these agencies do a lot of good, but I seriously doubt that many share the love of Jesus with those that utilize their services. That’s okay though, I’m sure our local churches are taking care of that particular issue (sarcasm).
Now, as I stated in an earlier post, there are over 300 churches in Whitfield County and the surrounding area. If only 100 of these fine institutions would commit to set aside $1,000 a week for a year, they could generate over $5,000,000 in funds that could be used to meet the needs of the wounded and hurting people of this county.
By the way, that’s only $10 per person per week if the church has 100 members.
James 2:15-17 states, “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
But someone might say, “Oh Ken, wouldn’t that require “churches” to come together and actually function as a unified force for good in the world?”
Indeed it would!
“Silly Ken, you know that could never happen! We have too many other “obligations” that require our full attention and resources!”
Yes, and I’m quite sure Jesus will someday commend us all for steering away from all those wasteful “outside” ministries so that we might focus more on those that “impact” us directly.
The truth is I realize this post of mine is most likely a waste of time, but in my heart I really believe there are others out there that feel as frustrated as I do.
Brothers and sisters, it’s time the family of God refused the status quo and spent some real time reflecting on the person we see looking back at us in the mirror. The word of God says our witness to the world is our love for each other. Is that what the world sees when it looks in our direction?
Time is short folks and talk is cheap. One person can do very little, but many hands make for light work.
Friends, the church has not only dropped the ball, but it seems we’ve forgotten it ever rested in our hands at all.
That needs to change!