Mike Cope's blog

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I am braindead this morning. Here's the best advice I can give you. Take a moment and check out the last few blogs from Larry James and Wade Hodges. (Both are linked to the right.) Here's a taste from Larry. (Why can't he just leave us alone?) This comes in a list of suggestions for churches who are trying so desperately to reduce their moral voice to one or two issues. Re-think, in a comprehensive manner, the annual church operating budget with a view to the inner city and its residents who live in poverty. This is a tough one, testing the authenticity of a congregation's resolve and actual commitment to answering the question, "How can we help?" in a serious way. No disrespect intended--and remember, I served as a senior pastor for almost 25 years--but, churches tend to serve themselves. Many a preacher has counseled his or her congregation to do an assessment of personal priorities and commitments by looking at checkbook ledgers. What is good advice for individual members of faith communities is excellent advice for congregational decision makers. Take a hard look at your church's annual financial plans. Who benefits most from the story of the numbers? What are the percentages? Here's a hard one: compare the funds earmarked for facilities and those set aside for action among the poor. How about a similar comparison between adult education or discipleship training and a commitment to overcoming poverty in the city? I ask that question based on my assumption that most adult members of congregations already know and understand more about what should be done as a person of faith than is actually being done! Take a long, hard, honest look at your congregation's financial plan.

5 Comments:

  • Bless you, Larry James!!

    What a simple, perfect test he suggests of our commitment as a missional church. Are our funds more in-centered, or out-pouring?

    Great post, Mike. If it's an example of being 'braindead' - then keep it coming.

    By Blogger Kathy, at 4/27/2005 06:59:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    Now I am "Braindead" as well. Thanks dude. Not only did I read Larry and Wade's current posts but allowed them to fry my brain further by reading plenty of past posts. A word to all: If you want to be entertained, don't read those posts. If you want to have your spiritual jaw jacked then click on brothers and sisters. Click on.

    By Blogger Joel Quile, at 4/27/2005 07:42:00 AM  

  • I am amazed at the way God works sometimes. I just finished posting a new entry on my blog today on Mark 10:23-27 (rich man going to heaven) and then I click over and read your blog. Wow.

    If anyone is interested check out Dennis W. Bakke, who lives on 1% of his income giving the rest away.

    Thanks Mike.

    By Blogger Tony Arnold, at 4/27/2005 08:55:00 AM  

  • Excellent post, Mike. Larry James hit it on the head! Now, how many of us shall honestly put this to the test? Ready to dust off the church budget and do a little analysis anyone?

    Even our views of outreach are suspect. I have heard so many prayers over the years that the Lord would "fill these pews." Perhaps the Lord is more interested in filling our neighborhoods with his missional people?

    By Blogger Owen B., at 4/27/2005 10:36:00 PM  

  • Me or others?

    Building the pile higher or giving some away?

    Social club or rescue mission?

    "Church" or following Christ?

    By Blogger Larry, at 4/28/2005 03:37:00 AM  

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