Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now!
If chapter 9 is one of favorites in the book IT by Craig Groeschel, then chapter 10 is DEFINITELY my favorite! This chapter speaks to me at such a profound level that it feels almost like breathing! This is just as natural to me as that... let me explain.
This chapter focuses on the idea that churches that have it think much bigger then their local ministry within the walls of their building. In fact, they have such a focus on the bigger picture of God's Kingdom that they are willing to give away what they have in order to partner and help other churches. He puts it this way:
A kingdom-minded ministry is one whose leaders care more about what God is doing everywhere then what God is doing in their own ministry. A kingdom-minded ministry is generous and eager to partner with others to get more done for the glory of God.
It's very easy to be excited that a church in the next town or city is doing well... but do we really celebrate when the church up the road is reaching more people for Christ then we are? Or do we, deep down somewhere, get jealous and envious of what is happening there? If we can't celebrate what God is doing across the street in another church then we are in a real danger of losing it!
I believe God puts a much bigger responsibility on larger churches then smaller ones. "When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required." Luke 12:48 is a big verse for me! If we've been trusted with much there is a requirement to do something with it. If we've been trusted with much, how can we be sure that we are putting that back into where God wants it? I strongly believe that the best way to live out the ministry of Jesus is to give it away. When we hoard and keep what we've been given it becomes about our kingdom and not about God's.
I'm sure this is why I'm so passionate about smaller church plants out there who are trying to reach a culture around them in ways that are very different then some established churches. I LOVE hearing and reading their stories on how God is working in ways we could never imagine him working in our ministry. That's a very good thing! I think we larger churches need to rally around those and give away what God has given us.
Then just sit back and watch both them and us get even more of it!
Agreed? Think I'm crazy?