“If it weren’t for those __________ churches…”
I will never forget that statement.
I was in my mid-twenties serving on a board of the local non-profit. We were discussing how we could raise more support for the organization.
I had participated most of my working career (which was obviously short at that point), financially contributing personally and helping them raise funds. Every year, we had the same discussion. How could we raise more money to do more good?
In the middle of our discussion, a greatly respected and leading businessman in our community made that statement. “If it weren’t for those _______churches, we would have plenty of money. All churches do is take from the community, serve their own interests, and rob the community of needed money for charity.”
The room instantly echoed and agreed with his bold remark. I was young and intimidated, so I said nothing.
Honestly, however, those words stung.
As an active member of one of the largest church in town, I didn’t believe anything he was saying. Our church, along with most churches in our community, was doing good things to help people.
If all we did was change people’s lives and send better people back into the community, we would be doing good things, but there were many church-connected ministries helping people in our city. Not to mention, many of the top contributors to this organization were active members of some of those same churches. (I was one of them.)
I never forgot those words though. It shaped me and my view of ministry.
Years later, when God placed the dream on my heart to plant a church in my hometown, I knew some of what that church would look like.
Not that I seek the approval of man, but I wanted to be a part of a church that reversed that paradigm some have from the outside looking into the church. I wanted to be part of a church that would truly make a difference in our community, so much so that if we were gone, people would miss us.