Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"When Was the Last Time?"

The following was an article written by my mentor and good friend, Mike Cope.


WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME?
  • When was the last time a Christian college named a blue collar worker with a modest income to its Board of Trustees because he or she was a devoted follower of Jesus with much wisdom to offer?
  • When was the last time Robert Schuller bumped a celebrity from his television program to interview an elderly widow who gives generously from her Social Security check?
  • When was the last time special visits were made by the ministers and elders to an unemployed family, encouraging them to "place membership" at their congregation?
  • When was the last time one of our institutes of higher learning named a building for someone who never was able to give $100 but who modeled the life of costly discipleship?
  • When was the last time the shepherds of a church confronted someone over a covetous, materialistic lifestyle?
  • When was the last time a brother or sister was disfellowshipped for being greedy (1 Cor.5:11)?
  • When was the last time a church moved from the suburbs to the heart of the city to try to reach the poor?
  • When was the last time a Christian family "downscaled," not because they couldn't make their high payments any more but because those high payments stretched them to the point of being unable to contribute to the church or to help people in need?
  • When was the last time a confession was read at church confessing love of money?
  • When was the last time a Christian "made it big" without it affecting the size of their house of the model of their car?
  • When was the last time a Christian college named as their "alumnus of the year" a single mother who, out of great love for God and her children, had managed to juggle both a secretarial job in the marketplace and a parenting job at home?
  • When was the last time we really listened to the haunting words of Jesus: "a person's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions" (Luke 12:15)?
  • And when was the last time we faced up to the piercing implications of James 2:1: "as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism"?

3 comments:

James Wood said...

Challenging.

We are far from hitting all of those, but for several of the statements I could think of specific examples and times where we are doing those things at our church. But since we are a church plant I think it's easier since the people don't realize that we are supposed to do things differently.

This season we are a part of the Advent Conspiracy and we are going to give the money we collect to Touch-a-Life Ministries.

Just to add to the discussion here - God does not call his followers to be poor, per se, but poor or rich, he calls all of his followers to be givers. It is not wrong to have money, but the love of money will destroy our ministries.

tom said...

Mike is on target, Josh. Without giving into becoming cynical or self-righteous about it, imagine if what he proposed became the norm??? Wouldn't that be such a powerful witness for the mission and ministry of Jesus...Wow!

Justin said...

So if we think it is worth doing, why aren't we doing it?

This is my personal stuff coming out I guess, but I am tired of figuring out how things could/should be done instead of doing it.

I think one of Satan's best tools is having us talk about good ideas so much it feels like we are doing them.

I am glad you are participating in Advent Conspiracy James. That looks like a great ministry.

Good post Josh. We have to see what needs to change before we can change it.