Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Like a Good Neighbor, Where Is The Church?


I watched the Secret Millionaire this week for the first time. Or is it Secret Billionare? In this episode, the wealthy owners of the Curves workout facilities go on what is basically a "mission trip" to inner city Houston for one week where they live on $6 dollars a day in an old roach infested house and visit several social ministries and agencies. In the end they put a face to the needs of the community and are moved to help out the social agencies with generous contributions. It is one of the positive television reality shows that have become popular as of late.
I find it interesting that the secular world has co-opted the business of the church and is teaching and promoting principles that the church seems to have abandoned.
Think about how often you see commercials and popular programs promoting community involvement and charity. From the NBA Cares program to American Idol give back show, the world recognizes the benefit and need for one to take care of their less fortunate neighbors in the world.
My brother-in-law while working as a manager for UPS was required to take two weeks off and go on a "mission trip", (his words but not what the company called it). He chose to go work with a church in inner city of Chicago. He described it as one of the most inspirational and educational two weeks of his life, even though he got sick and had to go to the hospital at the end of the two weeks. The only requirement that UPS pbutton their managers was that they had to bring back what they learned from the experience and implement the concepts into their management at UPS. Here is a secular company that values the experience of going on "missions" and yet it is often difficult to get a pastor to promote a mission trip in their own church. Seldom do you see churches who actually instruct, encourage and expect their members to be going local or globally.
I think it is great that society feels the need to promote the idea of charity and responsibility for one's neighbor but isn't it sad that secular society values community involvement more than the church? Wasn't this Jesus' idea? Didn't he instruct his followers to do this? What happened to the church taking responsibility for the welfare of their community?
A good question to ponder; if your church picked up and moved tomorrow would your community or neighborhood in which your church is located miss you?

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