There was a time when I could remember everything. Things like – details.
The Redaction was out touring a great deal and there was always a great deal of stupid little details to remember. Things like: Load-in is at 9, but don’t show up until at least 10 because no one will be there to let you in. All kinds of details and I could remember them all and just rattle of these little things to the guys.
Then my wife and I had children.
And that ability to remember all kinds of little details – was gone like Keyser Söze.
So now I take care to remember things. Lists and detailed calendars are my lifesavers (and thank goodness for my stinking smartphone and iPad with their lists and iCalendars!). But now I have to take care to remember things.
Our faith was founded – given – to a people enslaved. A people at the bottom of the socioeconomic scale. And we are called to help those who are suffering today. God heard the cry of the people of Israel and lead them from Egypt. And while in the wilderness God basically told the Hebrew people how to live as a people set apart. In good ole Exodus it even lists countless ways to help and lists those who we should pay special attention to giving aid. And Jesus put out his own banging list in the Beatitudes.
But are our churches remembering this?
Or are we concerning ourselves with the new addition to our Sanctuary?
Keeping the church’s budget from going over?
Or simply trying to sell our church to folks in the hope they will show up Sundays and leave an offering in the plate?
When Narcie and I lived in the ATL while she was in seminary a friend asked what he should look for in a church, the “inside scoop.” You know, what should he ask and be looking for as to signs that this would be a healthy congregation. Kind of like if you go to a restaurant check out the bathroom and it will give you an idea of how clean the kitchen is where your food is being prepared. Well we thought for a moment as told his this:
Ask how much if the budget is dedicated to mission.
How much of the offering collected is given away.
Our thought was (and is) that if a church freely gives they are freely receiving. A church that is actively engaged in giving/ministering to the poor in their midst is more concerned with actually being church rather than just having church.
How many churches in these hard economic times have killed their missions budgets? Yes, mission trips still happen and folks are giving as they can to those in need; but are our churches actively remembering its heritage as a people enslaved?
What will happen when our churches are more concerned with strengthening their stockpiles of gold rather than giving it away?