What is Your Church Worth to Your Community?
I am fascinated by this question. I know that some of you have had sleepless nights after difficult dealings with Fire Marshals, City Councils, neighborhood associations, zoning commissions, and other politico types. I know of one church that was told very plainly… “We wish ANYONE was moving in here other than a church!” To these short-sighted politicians, it was all about the non-generated tax revenue but a good deal of ill-will was unnecessarily created in the process.
As a result of that experience and a few others I decided to study to value that congregations bring to a community. The good news is that someone else already researched this topic AND it is a highly reputed, secular researcher from a respected institution. All I am doing here is parroting what someone else has reported. The bad news is that the study itself has not been published so none of us can actually read it yet.
The link which I am including has some of the formula info included in it and the average value contributed per congregation based on 12 inner city Philadelphia congregations. 54 indicators were used to gauge value with a total annual value of over $50 million to the community! The middle-of-the-road contribution was well over $1,000,000. Take a look, I think you will smile with me!
Granted, we lovers of the church grader value in an entirely different way. We think of value as an eternal commodity which we help to bring into the lives of our community members. But this information helps us to view our community contributions in a different light as well.
Follow these two links to learn more about this research:
Follow these two links to learn more about this research!
Read about the research here!
As a career missionary I developed a working definition of what/who a missionary is. I thought I would share it and possibly provide some fuel for thought as you seek to fulfill God’s missional call upon your life! Godspeed!
“A missionary is any born-again Christian who, in obedience to God’s individual call, utilizes personal gifts and talents, forsakes personal comfort, crosses social, cultural, and geographical barriers to proclaim and live-out the gospel in accord with Christ’s commissional mandate.”
“Because, having the knowledge of God, they did not give glory to God as God, and did not give praise, but their minds were full of foolish things, and their hearts, being without sense, were made dark.” Romans 1:21
Say yes to God!
Their foolishness blinded their spiritual insight
Logic, philosophy, and reason hurt them
They didn’t know enough to help
Knowing about God is never enough
(devils know and tremble)
When God really becomes your God
The reply is glory, the reply is praise, the reply is YES!
“The spirit of the Lord is on me, because I am marked out by him to give good news to the poor; he has sent me to make the broken- hearted well, to say that the prisoners will be made free, and that those in chains will see the light again; To give knowledge that the year of the Lord’s good pleasure has come, and the day of punishment from our God; to give comfort to all who are sad;” Isaiah 61:1-2
Jesus came to deliver
He delivered good news
He delivered healing
He delivered from prison
He delivered from blindness
He delivered from chains
He delivered word that the year of the Lord’s good pleasure has arrived
He delivered then
He delivers even now
He delivers completely and forever
“Be serious and keep watch; the Evil One, who is against you, goes about like a lion with open mouth in search of food; Do not give way to him but be strong in your faith, in the knowledge that your brothers who are in the world undergo the same troubles. And after you have undergone pain for a little time, the God of all grace who has given you a part in his eternal glory through Christ Jesus, will himself give you strength and support, and make you complete in every good thing; His is the power for ever. So be it.” 1 Peter 5:8-11
Everyday brings a battle brand new, one for which we must prepare.
Yesterday’s battle is over
tomorrow’s battle unknown
neither matters against today’s.
Be not fainthearted and be not afraid for the Lord is He who comes alongside giving victory in battle against the enemy- the enemy without and within.
“For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he puts all his goings in the scales.” Proverbs 5:21
Learning curves and daily distractions
seek continually to evict me from the path of righteousness…
discouraging any progress…
distracting any focus…
pointing toward the road not taken.
Tune my ears, eyes, and heart upon Thyself
that I may not choose the lower way.
Never are shortcuts taken without a toll.
Then the Jews came round him, saying, how long are you going to keep us in doubt? If you are the Christ, say so clearly. Jesus said in answer, I have said it and you have no belief: the works which I do in my Father’s name, these give witness about me. John 10:24-25
“Are you the Christ?” they asked back then.
“My words say yes and my works say yes.”
“Are you the Christ?” they asked again.
“Your ears hear yes, your eyes see yes.”
“Is He the Christ?” now asks the din.
When my words works and ways exalt Him, then yes!