When you think about it, churches ask a lot of you – at least two or more hours of valuable weekend time, as well as other time commitments during the week. Then there’s a substantial percentage of your income, and if you have some sort of special skills or talents, you can be enouraged to donate a lot of that as well.
I have no problem with giving a lot of myself to a church, and for years I’ve had no problem with asking others to give a lot of themselves as well. But I’ve reached a point in my life about giving myself to anything, whether it’s a church or any other organization – it had better be worthwhile. It needs to matter.
I’m not saying that out of arrogance or any kind of bad attitude. And I really hope I’m not coming across that way. I love the church and what it stands for. A pastor I admire says, “The church is the hope of the world,” and I really believe that. But if that’s true, if the church is truly the hope of the world, then individual churches need to step up to that and get involved in efforts that truly make a healing difference in their communities. In other words, churches need to matter.
Here’s a harsh reality – most churches aren’t doing anything that any civic organization couldn’t do. And if that’s all I want to accomplish with my life, there are already enough civic organizations I can get involved with.
However, I believe that my skills, my money, my time and my very life are gifts from God, not to be wasted on mundane things. And there’s nothing sadder than a church, whose very mission is to change the world, choosing instead to be bogged down in mundane things. Again, I’m not being prideful – I’m being careful with what God has given. It’s the attitude everyone should have.
I want my life to matter, and part of that means being involved in a church that matters.
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ.” (I Peter 1:18-19)