Change Yourself, Not the Church (phase_4) The cost of doing ministry

The cost of doing ministry

Today we have to look at the cost of doing ministry. We honestly have to look at the amount of money that is put into new churches across the nation, when men, women, and children are starving worldwide. We admire Francis Chan, and his decision to move from a new building project to an amphitheater and then give the money budgeted for the new building to missions. Why can’t we build community centers or use community centers to Worship God? Why segment and spend millions of dollars to build a church that will turn more people away than attract?

Again here is a great question we asked a few months ago, if you took away the lights, media, and all the bells and whistles, would people still follow the so called God you are preaching. Are you expressing Jesus in a way that it does not matter what material things you have. Just a thought.

We as churches have given into technology and the cost of it so much it is like we are given into just another worldly thing. (Romans 12:2, Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.) Yes we use social networking technology to reach people, but we neglect to determine real relationships that have real values. Skye Jethani looks at this in his book the Divine Commodity, on how people use Social Networking sites and other platforms to mediate nearly all of their personal interactions. Rather than encouraging healthy relationships we give in too much to the psedudo-relationships through shallow identifies. Think about this; Are we giving into the world, or the things Christ has commanded for us?

We are part of one of the most innovative churches in the country, but it seems that God wants us to be so much more than culturally relevant. I mean it is great that we are connecting so much with technology and building internet campuses, and applications for the iphone, but real relationships are so much more. People are hurting and a new application for their phone is not helping.

Seriously we have seen more people brag about how cool it is to have the bible on their iphone more than read it. We use the bible/church, as such a consumer product, we have put a deep relationship with Christ beyond it all. There is no technology in the world that can authentically make you fall to your knees before a God that wants so much for you.

How can we reduce the cost of doing ministry, and invest it more wisely to make a difference.

Share your thoughts.

Team IML

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7 responses to “Change Yourself, Not the Church (phase_4) The cost of doing ministry

  1. Actually, current research suggests that internet social networking deepens and expands relationships. I know it has for me. I have now reconnected with long, lost classmates and have more daily contact with family that live far away. My daily face to face interactions have not declined. And as for those church buildings, I think they are necessary. They help build community among other Christians so we can go out into the world and live our faith.

  2. Margaret, Actually we agree with you to a point and we heavily use social networking. It is when we neglect the face to face is where we lose relationships. Facebook, myspace, are great for reconnecting with long lost friends, it is when we make local connections that we are building lasting relationships vs, just poking and saying high on these platforms. It is so easy to fall into a quick and easy solution behind technology. We have to learn keeping a careful balance. Thanks for your insight.

  3. well said Margaret

  4. Margaret, on the concept of church buildings, yes they serve a great purpose, but how many unnecessary commodity items are purchased to make it more than it has to be.

    Why is the number of people attending church declining with population and consolidating into mega-churches across the country. The problem is, in most churches across the country are retaining believers inside these building and not Going out into the world. We like to ask the questions that Craig Groeschel has shared, when is the last time you had a non-believer in your house, when is the last time you prayed for someone that was lost? We can find ourselves so carried away in our next church event we don’t care who outside the church walls are going to hell. If we were focused so much on the lost we would see the number of Churches overflowing with people vs shutting down, and people just moving to the most entertaining church on the block.

  5. While we are supposed to be cheerful (and the actual word used there literally translates to “hilarious”) givers and we are supposed to share our resources, I don’t think that taking tithes and committing it primarily to new technology is necessarily the greatest use of tithes.

    I recently read where Terry Storch of Lifechurch.tv was bragging about the new Wii Fit that the church bought him as part of a health and fitness program that they have implemented for their employees. Really? God wants you to take the tithes and buy a wii fit for your ministry staff to use?

    Being culturally relevant is also a great thing – but remember, locales vary and so do their residents. You could build the coolest, up-to-date website and develop the most awesome apps anyone has ever seen, but if you live in the sticks and your community has never even heard of “social networking” or an iphone or the like, you just wasted all your budget on something that isn’t going to make a bit of difference. The inverse can also be true, in that if you live in a heavily wired city where everyone communicates by texting (even when sitting next to each other) and they are drawn where the image looks the “coolest”, having a somber interior with 100 year old songs and a pastor who drones on about God only knows what sort of junk, you have probably missed your audience.

    Do you need the building? Maybe, maybe not.

    Again, you really need to look at who you are trying to reach when making decisions on where the money should go.

    ~Blessings~

  6. J2Nice78, we appreciate your comment, and agree with much of what you are saying. Be careful what you say.
    We happen to know Terry Storch and he is a great guy. I don’t know where you got that information, but it does not sound like something Lifechurch.tv would do. They are one of the most accountable churches financially in the country with how they spend their resources.

  7. # Wii fit age is 34, but a bit overweight with the BMI. Still need to drop 12lbs or so.6:35 PM Feb 27th from Tweetie
    # Buying a Wii fit and LifeChurch.tv is paying for it. Love the health and wellness plan!5:22 PM Feb 27th from Tweetie

    ~From Terry Storch’s twitter log. View it yourself at http://twitter.com/terrystorch?page=2

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