What has happened to faith in the church? I am not talking about the mental cognition that God exists – but the life that results from the reality of that choice. So many people that I see in our church claim to follow Jesus Christ, but continue to live worrying about status, finances, everday life stuff. The church itself isn’t much better. We choose to dwell in models, how-to-books, numbers analysis, church consultants, and other safe models of church “management”. Where are the risk-takers? Where are the true faith-possessors? Isn’t that what God desires for His church – that we would dream big and actually be willing to step out into the unknown and trust Him to take us there? Instead we choose manpower. We look for the “sure things”. Church planters investigate the financial viability, the numerical possibility, and the growth potential as they search for a location to expand the bride of Christ. Whatever happened to searching for the voice and direction of God? How far down the line (if at all) should finanicals and numbers be in the church planting process!
But I am no different. I have been obsessing for months about “taking care of my family”. The church I work at doesn’t pay me enough to live in the affluent community the church is in. I now have two kids. And it saddens me to admit that I have been seriously contemplating starting over in the comfort and financial ease of my hometown. No voice of God. No clear as day direction from Him telling me to move my family to a new state – just my worry, my frustration, my lack of faith. A friend of mine recently told me the story of how his family had downsized recently. No car payments, little house payments (at least for SoCal), and simple living. He described how “free” he felt to do and be what God wanted him to be. As I have allowed my friend’s story to challenge me, I am realizing that “freeing us” is exactly what faith does. It takes so much of the pressure off of us. We are incabale of fulfilling our needs anyway! We must have faith. It has to be the driving force behind who we are and what we do. No more wimpy, heady, faith – but a real, life-changing, freeing faith where our lives actually look like we believe Jesus is all we need.
I am far from that destination, but I want to get there. And as a church leader, I want to take some people there with me.