Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bored Christians?

Young Life's founder JIm Rayburn said "It's a sin to bore a kid with the gospel." In Gary Haugen's book "Just Courage: God's Great Expedition for the Restless Christian" he makes a compelling case that too many christians live mediocre lives because they practice a safe and boring faith. They believe that God's great strategy is to save them from their sins and promise them eternal life. But there is no serious adventure, no risk, no demanding discipleship other than controlling personal vices and behaviors.
Haugen points to three contributors to boring christian living: 1. Ignorance of the massive need in the world around us, 2. Despair at the massive need in the world around us, 3. Fear about having to leave the safety of our cul-de-sac lives where we are in control and comfortable.
As I read the book, I wondered how pastors and leaders will present ministry budgets to their churches in 2009. Will our budgets be fear-driven and safety-bounded? Will we just try to get by? Or do we have in them bold ministry/mission visions for God's bigger heart? Does boldness equate to recklessness today? Where is the line dividing the wise steward from the foolish servant who buried his treasure out of fear?
Churches might indeed need to live on fewer financial resources in 2009 as they had in 2008. But does that curtail compelling ministry? Do we always need more money and more staff to be more effective? Are there some new models for ministry that are begging for our attention?
Nothing has challenged me more in the past year than going to lead jail services twice a month. Do you know how much that costs? Not a dollar, but 2-3 hours and stepping into a very uncomfortable space. But I'm not bored!


At 8:56 PM , Blogger mcdaniel clan said...

great post and thoughts...however, i wonder if the "boring kids with the gospel" idea hasn't created an issue where people don't care about budgets and mission at all...it seem what most really care about is being entertained...


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