Every now and then I talk with my friend Zak from Connection Church just south of Austin. It is a growing church in several ways...this means not just numbers. It is a church I have only visited a few times but I love it. It seems to be full of people who want to serve.
In my conversations with Zak I usually ask him how things are going with the church. It is clear that exciting things are happening there and I hope they continue too...it is also clear in my conversations that Zak wants to make sure that any money spent is spent well. He does not want to waste it on trivial things. This makes me proud to call him a friend.
I am still reading "The Irresistible Revolution" and in that book the author, Shane Claiborne, writes about his church spending $100,000 on a stained glass window. This is insane to me.
The church that I previously served in is spending $400,000 to renovate the fellowship hall into a contemporary worship center. Yet again this falls into the insane category.
Why does this sort of stuff get under my skin so much. Maybe it is because I see people pouring money into pretty windows and state of the art worship centers in an effort to create a fuller experience of worship. This my friend is bass ackwards.
I do think that experiencing God is heavily based on our surroundings, but believing that it has to do with the state of the art facility is a little off base. It would be like trying to experience the fullness of a football game by purchasing a big screen HDTV. It is not like being in the game.
Jesus said "Whatever you do to the least of these, you have done to me." I believe we could experience God to a much fuller extent by embracing the poor and spending time with those that were created in the image of God.
I hope that whatever church I end up at seriously considers how it is spending God's money. In the same way, I hope that I will put more stock into how I am spending God's money.
I am truly thankful for friends in ministry like Zak who weigh were money is going.
By the way Zak...sorry I used you as an example...I know you have other issues...like the way your feet smell.