Does It Really Matter?

June 26th, 2013

The other day, in a seminar I was leading, I shared a story of a very active church member who had just chosen to give a multi-million dollar gift to his college and a much smaller donation to his church. In visiting with the donor, whom I have known for years, he commented that he just felt that the college would be able to do more with it to "impact lives."  I understood and appreciated his candor. My sharing of the story was done to say that if we want such gifts we have to be ready to share how we "impact lives."

I got a quick rebuttal from a senior pastor who said, "How can we expect to have the impact of a college? They have thousands of students and huge budgets.  We simply cannot compete with that!" I was stunned, and for a few seconds did not know how to respond to a pastor who was throwing up a white flag without even firing a shot. It was depressing, but I imagine all too real.

How important is what we do in the church? What is the value of one soul? Do we really have something to offer that a college cannot duplicate? Would the world miss us if we were not here?

I am afraid that this pastor and many others simply do not know the mission. He computes that since a college has more persons part of it than his church, they can have more influence and more impact.  The education of one student to be a sound business person or a school teacher holds equal or more value than leading someone to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  The college can make more people "good people" than the church.

My friends, I value my college and what it did for me. I value the contribution that many non-profits, like Boy Scouts and Hospice, have made to my life. However, nothing has made the difference that having a relationship with Jesus Christ has made, and yes, I do think it really matters! I am willing to put the case of a healthy and fruitful church over anything on the planet. Do our church leaders not believe that anymore?

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