what would happen if a church decided that the majority of it’s budget had to be spent on things outside it’s walls? i mean spending it on things that weren’t programs to make church members happy, or convince other members from different churches to swap to theirs, or anything that would make the church more attractive to “church people” but rather spending it on taking care of the needs of single moms or celebrating the community service of police officers or deciding to minister to the needs of one city block? now i know there are financial needs within the church, after all my salary is one of those needs. the church i am presently a part of has a building and that means it has to pay for maintenance, utilities, and much more. i know those are real needs … but i don’t really think they are ministry. what if a church decided that it would spend equal or great money on a need outside it’s building’s walls before each time we spent money on a need inside our buildings walls? what if instead of encouraging people to tithe because we need to pay for all the “member services” we have built up within our buildings we encouraged CHRISTians to tithe so that they wouldn’t be dependent upon mammon and to provide resources for transforming our community?
it’s just a question i’m dealing with now that i am hoping to be a part of starting a new community of believers.
i’ve been thinking about the random acts of kindness that people used to push. they were really great. of course, as a follower of JESUS i’m supposed to be called to something much more costly than kindness … i’m called to love. JESUS showed his love through sacrifice and it wasn’t just on the cross. read the story of JESUS in the gospel and you’ll see sacrifice through out it.
- JESUS was tired but the people were hungry – so JESUS fed them.
- an accused woman was brought before JESUS and the people were ready for blood. it was a risky situation – JESUS risked ticking off the crowd and saved the woman.
- a woman with a curved back saw JESUS on the sabbath, everybody knew that the pharisees wouldn’t let someone be healed on the sabbath – JESUS made her straight as an arrow and didn’t really care how powerful people felt about it
JESUS loved people (and still does) and HE showed this love through sacrifice. HE then called those that follow HIM to do the same thing. but i’m not really sure how often i truly sacrifice for someone. i do acts of kindness but acts of true sacrifice? i’m just not so sure about that.
so i think i’m going to try to start. here’s my plan: i’m going to shot for at least one act of true sacrifice each week. it has to be something that costs me in some manner (after all that’s what sacrifice is). the root goal of these “random acts of JESUS” has to be to show love … nothing else. it’s not about increasing church attendance or getting good p.r. for my local congregation. no, it’s about loving like JESUS. i’m convinced if i do that then GOD will be glorified. i’m not real sure what this will all look like but that’s the fun of it. i’ll report back later on how things are going.
[tags]random acts of JESUS, sacrifice, church budget[/tags]