Struggling with complacency
There is something that gnaws inside me when I’m immersed in the world of Christian institutions. I see that we are quick to celebrate our successes while never properly facing our failures. I think about the conclusions George Barna has come to in surveying American values and behavior. If what he finds is true, and your average evangelical doesn’t act differently than anyone else on a handful of major ethical issues, then the net impact of every evangelical ministry in America is almost nil. Every church, seminary, bible school and youth group is unsuccessful in facilitating the life transformation that would result in less racism, more generous giving or less broken families.
There are success stories. Almost every ministry has anecdotal evidence that they are accomplishing something . However if the average evangelical lives an indistinct life, this must mean for every success we celebrate there is a failure. For every person that moves from darkness to light, someone slides from light to darkness. For each new person that walks through the front door another slides out the back.
We don’t notice this because we pay much more attention to our successes than our failures. It disturbs me that we are as comfortable as we are. More and more I struggle living in a world that assumes we are making a difference for the Kingdom of God while we remain largely safe, secure and comfortable collecting an income.
These days I’m forced to ask myself if I am the last man in the parable of the talents who refused to take any risk and buried his talent in the ground.