Sunday, April 27, 2014

What If Your Church Was So Well Off No One Had Needs? - Part 1

Community, Social Justice, Giving and Evangelism

What if your church were so well off that everybody in the congregation had no needs?
    What if everybody looked out for each other and anybody who was in need had their needs met from within the congregation?
    What if the financial situation within a church congregation was so stable that there was plenty to give to missions and philanthropic endeavours?
    What if all this was not done haphazardly but with a budget?
I sat in a church service recently and the whole service was on about how we need to reduce our spending and thus allow us to give more to missions and the poor. It sent my mind back to when I was in Bible College and there was a group that was very big on community. An enormous amount of energy was spent on the concept of living together in such a way as to be able to live on less and so give more to missions.

I reflected on the fact that most of that generation no longer live in community. In fact, a number of them had their marriages end in divorce.

I remember very clearly meeting up with some of a group that had formed a community based on the monastic style. They had a rule of voluntary poverty. It was voluntary because anybody who found that the rule was too much for them was free to leave without disdain or penalty. The idea of this was that by pooling their resources they would be able to give more to missions and the poor. A great idea I thought.

I listen for word about this community with keen interest because I liked the concept so much. I was intrigued to learn that over time the practical expression of this was that some would work less in order to be able to minister as well as give and be supported by those who saw work as their ministry.

As time went on most of them found that they could give up full-time work because they, as a community could live on less and then more of them, could minister. The sad thing that they didn’t seem to realize is that with less money coming in, less was being given financially to their causes. Hence, the original idea of the community had started to change.

As far as I am able to gather this community no longer exists.

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