I was invited to a pastor's lunch yesterday at a church here in town. They're known for starting out in the Willow Creek model and moving on from there. I've seen lots of churches start one way and move away from it in the end, so that's not surprising in particular. For those of you reading who have no idea what that means, it's okay. It's preacher-talk mainly. This is a bigger church in the area. They do better than 3000 people on any given Sunday. They have seemed like good folks from a distance.
But here's what I saw that stunned me.
They were using their resources and influence (as one of the bigger churches in the area) NOT to make themselves all that bigger but to rally the other pastors to try to reach this area of Houston. My heart leapt at what I was hearing instead of what I honestly expected to hear.
They fed us a really good meal. For free.
The pastor got up and talked about his heart to reach the city. He probably said it 10 times: "I'm not promoting any program of our church. I just wanted to get us all in a room and talk about reaching the city."
We prayed. Together. About real stuff.
Leveraging their resources and influence. For the Kingdom.
And on the drive back to my not-as-cool-as-their office, I was grateful. And I was challenged. Whatever resources God has given me, am I leveraging them like that? When my son came in last night and asked if he could give all his $69 to build a house in Haiti, do I have that kind of heart? How about my influence (whatever level I have of it)? Am I using the conversations, sermons, leadership decisions, personal interactions, and other moments of influence to do something worthwhile?
I could be easily caught up in worrying about what folks would think. I could have influence overridden by the passionate desire to be liked.
So could you.
But resources are for leveraging. Influence is for using for the good.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...