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At the Risk of Being Controversial

At the risk of being “controversial” I am going to share this!

 

I received a letter in the mail a today from a church here in St. Petersburg, Florida. I opened it to see what it said and was drawn to the colorful insert inside, the half sheet piece of paper with the title “It’s Time to Shine”. I thought “that is awesome”! Every believer and church wants to shine and wants to make an impact in the lives of others and in their communities. When churches want to shine, I get excited!


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However, my heart sank as I began to read what “It’s Time to Shine” was about. I honestly thought it was going to be about “world mission opportunities” or to help some families in need, but it wasn’t. To my surprise it was to raise funds for their new sound system. It must be a really nice sound system because they are trying to raise $215,000 to get it. This is so sad to me! How can anyone in the church think this is OK?

 

It is sad to me because I know they could get by with what they have, or could buy something used or much cheaper. Matthew 6:21 says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” For some reason, I just can’t imagine Jesus, as King of the Kingdom of God authorizing these kinds of purchases and sales pitches when there are so many real needs around us and in the world. Can you imagine this “Jesus, I know people are dying of starvation, and millions are 

 

At this point, I could give you a whole list of statistics but instead, I will provide a link where you can read as many or few as you like. The point is this is wrong! People we need to hold leaders accountable for how they choose to spend God’s money. That’s right! It is God’s money, not ours and we will give an account to Him for how we spend it. This means we need to think about what you give towards.http://www.messagemissions.com/mission-statistics/dying every year in the world who have never heard about you but with a new sound system, a really good sound system, we could reach the world.” Can you imagine how Jesus would answer that question? It should seem pretty plain to us too.

Matthew 6-21

 

It’s sad to me because the average church in America only gives about 5% to world missions while spending 85% of all its funds on internal operations which include salaries, rent or mortgage, sound systems, supplies etc. Are there others who feel the way I do?

 

My heart truly breaks over the mindset we have in the American Church. Let me say I am so far from where I need to be, I still have a selfish heart that I am trying to get free from, but I do know what is right and what is wrong and want to do what is right.

 

“It’s Time to Shine” should mean it is time to get the gospel to the unreached parts of the world, to the billions who have yet to hear.

 

“It’s Time to Shine” should mean it is time to care for the widows and the orphans, here and around the world.

 

“It’s Time to Shine” should mean we want to care for the millions who live without a home and/or are on the verge of starvation and malnutrition.

 

“It’s Time to Shine” should mean we want to pull out the stops to help the persecuted Christians around the world.

 

Please hear my heart as I share, and know that I am not pointing fingers at people or churches, but rather pointing at the inconsistencies and misconceptions we have embraced in the America church. God s plan is so much bigger than $215,000 sound systems, beautiful church properties, and church staffs that are big enough to run a midsize corporation. When we begin to embrace His plan, those things just won’t matter to us. We will see though the heart of God and with Kingdom lenses and our old ways will become obsolete. We will go from being like the Church of Laodicea to being the Church of Philadelphia in Revelation 3. Then we will truly know what “It’s Time to Shine” truly means.

go and make disciples

It’s time to follow the examples set by the churches who sacrifice on a regular basis to get the gospel to the world. Their pastors, leaders and volunteers work overtime to fulfill the Great Commission for little or nothing. Many of those pastors and leaders work other jobs so they can do what they do. Some of their churches give 30%, 40% and 50% of their donations to world missions. These are the examples we need to follow! Will we?

 

Jesus said “I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.” Matthew 16:18-20. That is the church we want to be a part of, the church worldwide that is focused on fulfilling the divine call wrapped in the Great Commission that Jesus gave in Matthew 28:17  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. You may or not agree with me and that is ok. I just ask that you think it through, match up what I am saying in His Word and then come to your conclusion, and remember “It’s Time to Shine.”!

 

Brian Weller

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