At one point in my pastoring, we purchased a demographic study based on a ten-mile radius of our church. It was filled with extremely helpful information derived from census material and several other surveys. One of the questions was a multiple choice response to a query about personal faith: “I am involved in my faith, I am somewhat involved in my faith, I have no faith involvement.”
Within that ten-mile radius were approximately 667,000 people. Out of that number, nearly a half-million people reported they were only somewhat involved in their faith or had zero faith involvement. And honestly, I wasn’t sure I believed the rest of them!
That’s when I had an epiphany: we suck. After our leadership team laced our Diet Cokes with Zoloft and reviewed the stats, we decided to fearlessly evaluate and innovate our methods of evangelism.
Several months later when I downloaded this to the church one weekend, I said, “We can’t be satisfied with the status quo. Not if we believe Jesus has the words to eternal life that begins now and carries into the age to come.”
I went on to announce, “If you don’t really believe that, then you ought to stop coming here and playing nice. We’re not here to play religion or to make us feel good. If you just want to feel good, get some Two-Buck Chuck and rent a Will Farrell movie. Jesus didn’t come to make you happy; He came to start a revolution and to transform lives, to give us significance, meaning, and power.”
Leaders must guard against the comfortableness of the status quo. This wasn’t about numbers, but if the reality of eternity as described by Jesus and the current injustices in our world doesn’t affect us, something’s wrong. If we believe that there are broken people all around us, if we believe that we have the antidote to a deadly sickness called sin that’s killing our fellow human beings…and yet we refuse to open our doors and hearts wider, then we have a huge problem with God. Jesus said that he came to preach good news to the poor, proclaim freedom to the prisoners, recover sight for the blind, release the oppressed and proclaim the year of God’s favor.
How can we do anything less?
Question for the Day: On a scale of 1-to-10, how comfortable are you with the way things are in your church or organization?