I spent some time with my good friend Dave last week. In our hour-long conversation there were two pieces that at the time I thought were completely disconnected, but now I think they’re tied together.
On one hand we were talking about the United Methodist church where he and his family are members. The first time I was there was when his son Brendon was baptized about 13 years ago.
He asked if I knew of any churches that were webcasting the worship service. His church, like so many, has a good-sized youth group but once the kids go away to college the church loses touch with them. And after college it is unlikely that they will go to church, any church, with the regularity they did when they lived with mom and dad. They were looking for a way to keep this “connected generation” connected with the church. Posting worship on line seemed like a good way to do this.
Almost in passing, he pointed out that any effort to video record the service would have to be done without any money, as there is nothing in the budget this year for such a project.
About half an hour later he said his son Brendon was interested in starting a small lawn mowing business. Perhaps he had the entrepreneurial spirit and Dave wanted to nurture that. We talked about how we were both raised to go to college, get good grades and get hired by a good company. Starting a business was never developed in either of us.
Dave was reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, a book about exactly this topic. I had read The Millionaire Next Door, a similar book. Clearly in our society, the people with wealth are more likely to be business entrepreneurs than to simply work for someone else. You have to take risks to have rewards.
Which gets us back to the discussion about posting worship services on-line.
Churches are willing to spend money on what they know: bricks and mortar, utilities, salaries for pastors and other staff. But we’re not willing to risk money, especially “other people’s money” that comes in through the collection plate.
As a result, we have churches that are the equivalent of stuck in middle management for a large company. We get our 3% raise every year (yes, you’ve heard about that before), we pay our mortgage and can pay the loan for our Chevy.
But only by taking that entrepreneurial risk to dive head long into moving our church forward can we really grow. A previous post refers to offering a wild, untamed life-changing relationship with a living and loving God through Jesus.
We don’t think of middle managers having wild untamed life-changing adventures do we? We leave those for the risk takers.
What is God calling his church to be?