Tuesday, April 17, 2012
What Responsibility do we hold?
I read an article about churches foreclosing in America. In 2011, 138 churches were sold by banks and the year before (2010) there were 270 churches being sold due to defaulting on loans (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/09/us-usa-housing-churches-idUSBRE82803120120309). This is an astonishing number and very unfortunate due to the fact that there are or were congregants depending on that church as a place of worship, a place of prayer, a place of comfort, a place of teaching, a place of grace, and much more.
Now, I don't know why these churches foreclosed. Maybe it was irresponsible spending? Maybe it was the economy? Maybe it was a loss of members or people willing to tithe? (Don't worry this isn't a tithing blog, but we do have a responsibility in that). Who knows what the issue is, but I feel like other churches treat this as the world treats house foreclosures. If your neighbor loses their house it's a sad deal, but a lot of us go toward the thought of "Man, I am glad that isn't me!"
I think the other churches surrounding these foreclosing churches feel the same way. "It is sad, but at least our doors are open!" is a thought that might come to mind. My question is this: Should this be the response? What if churches partnered together, regardless of denomination and assisted each other in funding? What if the megachurch up the road decided to give some of their giving to assist the 20 member church down the street?
You see, I feel that this is a sign of reconciliation on earth. The kingdom of God is not for a small group of people. The Church (notice the big C) is meant to be unified and set up to be a light to the world, but if they can't even help each other during these hard times, then how are we showing reconciliation to people? There will be more on this in a later post.
We hold on to our programs in the church (notice the little c) and praise our givers for making our programs so great, oh yeah we might even thank God. However, down the street there is a church that is teaching the same stuff as us, trying to assist in the growth of the congregants and trying to develop disciples, but they can't even afford to pay the pastor half of what our pastor is making. Why is that ok? If the Church were to recognize it is not about who founded your church denomination (i.e. Luther, Calvin, Menno Simons), but about WHO leads the church, CHRIST! The One Who came to reconcile His people back to their creator.
The Church is supposed to exemplify this reconciliation, but if we can't reconcile with ourselves, then how can we expect to reconcile people back to their creator?
We need to rethink how we are working together to enhance the Kingdom of God here and that could possibly begin in our wallets.