This is the last and final, part 3 of this particular topic. If you missed the previous two posts, check them out at part 1 and part 2.
The Church: A Response to a Bad Economy?
I spend a good bit of my day running around on the Internet, and many places I stop are with people of faith, churches, organizations and groups trying to raise funds, in a “bad economy”. There are usually two responses. One (to me) Biblical, and one not. One based on fear, the other based on belief. One worried about their 401k balance, the other excited to see a time when the need for the church among the un-churched is growing.
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
What happened just after September 11th 2001? People ran to the church. Some because they were scared, some because they didn’t know where else to turn, some came back after a long time away, but the number of people attending church (doesn’t mean it was meaningful by the way) went up dramatically. What makes hitting people where it really counts (in their 401k’s) any different as far as possibilities within the church to help others?
I took this photo below at “Ground Zero” a few months after the terrorist attacks on New York city. They still had not torn down the last few damaged buildings that are outside the photo here, and this “cross” was still standing as well. It was incredible to me to see a cross, carved out of mangled steel, standing above all the mess that was ground zero. It was an unreal time of horror, terror, and despair in our country, and yet, Jesus didn’t change, the world did.
My church at the time in 2001 (a 35,000 member church) was trying to decide if they should start a $40 million building campaign in the middle of the 911 economic turmoil. They decided to follow God and not the economy and great things were done. Why should the church back down when times are bad? Be responsible yes, but fearful????
People are scared, people are fearful. Why? Uncertainty. If we are Believers… why are we living in fear and uncertainty? Because we can’t buy the normal $500-$1000 of Christmas presents this year? We have the most certain thing in the world. A risen Savior.
If you like the cross as a symbol you need to drive out I-40, past Amarillo, past Oklahoma City, and look at one of the largest crosses I have personally ever seen (first photo above). It is a magnificant symbol right on the interstate for all to see. We should be like this cross on I-40 in Oklahoma. Big, bold, tall, ready to reach out and help those who are hurting and searching. We should be excited to be in these “times”, they are new times of new opportunities. As the Church, let’s not watch this opportunity pass us by and wonder why we didn’t make use of this special time in our history.