I’ve written in the past about sponsoring a Compassion International child. I’ve also written of what prompted us to sponsor a child. It was a sermon by Matt Chandler that I’ve been wanting to point to for a while. Reading one of Tom Ascol’s recent posts Matt Chandler, mortification and the sins of fathers has reminded me once again of this particular sermon of Chandler’s. A recap on the journey to Compassion International. My wife and I were driving across town to have our taxes prepared and at the recommendation of a friend I played this sermon. Long and short, we became convicted about sponsoring a child. Funny thing is, this sermon isn’t even about Compassion. Chandler talks about in helping through such organizations as Compassion and of Christian attitudes towards money, church buildings and the world, etc.
The sermon is Missional Living: Family Traits 2.0 Part 2. I’ve provided text and audio links below. I’ll grab some highlights. I was recently in a church that spent $55 million plus on their buildings. Part of me thinks that there must be something better that could have been done with some of the money. Could the cost have been slimmed down to maybe $30 million and the rest for outreach and missions? Could costs have been cut somewhere? Would planting a church have been a better idea than simply getting a bigger building for everyone? I’m not saying this or any particular church is right or wrong, good or bad in spending money in this manner. There are much smaller churches that could have the same questions asked of them. These are also things I think about in my own live. Not that there’s really much to consider, but as Christians we all have to consider how God has blessed us and what we do with those resources. Chandler spoke along these lines in this sermon.
Like, we’re the only church that I’m aware of in the United States that’s trying to do church with 4000+ and 15,000sq. ft., and it’s really not working well. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ll have plenty of time to think about it in the parking lot when you try to get out of here. You’ll have about 45 minutes to selah on that. But do you know why? Why even now, we’ve made very little moves outside of adding some video services and things like that? Because we think that your facilities teach. We’re trying to model for you what we’re talking about. We’re trying to model it for you. There’s no debt here. We’re stretching our resources as far as they can possibly go.
That just speaks to me both individually and corporately. He talks about Compassion too.
We don’t want, ‘Okay, I feel bad so let me get a Compassion kid.’ That’s the last thing we want. I do want those compassion babies, all 400 of them, represented out there.
How many kids? When I heard 400, I thought, wow! I believe they are now up to 700. He breaks down some figures too about Christian spending habits and such.
And maybe $500-600 a month for your car is too much…Sponsor a Compassion child. $32 a month. Clothes, food, education in one of the poorest countries in our hemisphere. $32 a month. That’s going from 800 channels to 300. That’s a weeks worth of Starbucks. If you’re a frappuccino person, that’s three days of Starbucks.
And then there’s something about this quote that just gets me in light of some current trends in churches.
Now, maybe I’m just young, angry and bitter. Maybe twenty years from now, I’ll go, “You know that $5,000 we spent on having a coffee shop inside of our church so we can give our people lattes while the majority of the world died? That was a phenomenal ideal. That was a great expenditure of kingdom money.”
The starting point for Christians in context?
Get out of debt. Get out of debt. Get out of debt. Get out of debt. GET OUT OF DEBT. It is sinful to live beyond your means, sinful. Quit buying what you can’t afford. It’s madness. Get out of debt. Like, do you remember in high school, how sad high school was when you’re kind of deemed cool and uncool by whether or not you had the actual polo shirt vs. the “Knights of the Round Table” shirt with the flag instead of it…Do you remember when you were defined by and were categorized by what you drove and what you wore? As dumb as it was then, how sad is it when it’s 30 and 40 and 50 year old men? I mean, how sad is it when we continue to define ourselves by fashion and cars and houses while the world burns?
I still appreciate this sermon. It’s convicting.
Matt Chandler on Missional Living: Family Traits 2.0 Part 2, get the audio or pdf.
For what it’s worth…