Letting this quote from Brennan Manning sink in a bit today,
“To me, the lack of credibility of the Christian church in America is that we are not professional lovers of God and people. We’ve got this carrying of the Bibles, saying “Praise Jesus!” and we don’t love one another. We don’t reach out and extend ourselves. Tell me the amount of money in your local church that is devoted to, first, the quality of faith of the people and, second, the assistance of the poor. Tell me those two things and I will tell you what I think of your church”
Preach in Brennan!
Our leadership team is in the midst of asking some important questions around these very two important issues. It’s my guess that most churches do okay with the first one. That’s where most of our staff is allocated. Our staff make up a significant portion of most of our budgets so one could say that we are putting a good amount of money into the quality of the faith of the people. This is a good thing. I am a fan of staff because I think this is an important part of our mission.
But what about the poor? What about those less fortunate? What about those people on the other side of the tracks?
What’ the best way to use money so that the poor are actually helped?
Where are we unnecessarily putting money?
Where do we need to be putting money that we are not?
All good questions. Sometimes I think its too easy to get caught up in asking questions taht are hard to answer and we never actually act on anything because we are so busy asking questions and critiquing.
By the way this quote from Brennan Manning comes from some dialogue that takes places in the book The Monkey and the Fish: Liquid Leadership for a Third-Culture Church by Dave Gibbons.