Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Church on the Cheap

I just finished reading Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell. It is a very good book and it got me thinking about how the discount culture has also invaded the Church.

I am not talking about those who give of their time, talent and treasure, or their blood, sweat and tears to their Church and parish family.

I am talking about those who see the Church as a place to baptize a child but not a place to partake of community. Those who give little or nothing of themselves to the Church. Those who see it as a place for weddings and funerals, giving a pittance for such rituals, and expecting the Church to bend over backward for them.

They have no sense of mission, no sense of ministry. The Church that has been built by parishioners over many generations is forgotten except for what it can do for me right now.

Of course, Churches do it to, when we cut from budgets our mission and ministry priorities, when we forget to be evangelists, all to save our buildings and institutions. Church on the cheap is when we are focused on maintenance and not on our ministry.

It is Church on the cheap and it cannot last.

Contrast that to Jesus, who says, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

Abundant Life, Joy made Complete, Grace beyond measure, that is not Church on the Cheap, for that is the Gospel and it is what we must proclaim!

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