I have begun reading David Platt’s latest book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream. The book challenges every Christian to Radical abandonment for the cause of Christ. Platt clearly indicates that this is a book where he is expressing his questions and exposing his journey. With that same thought, I pen this article expressing my thoughts and journey as I read and pray and seek God’s guidance and conviction as necessary to change my life. Here’s my first thought:
If Christians were radically changed, they would practice Biblical Stewardship. If Christians were practicing Biblical Stewardship, churches would have ample resources. If Christians tithed, churches would not have to spend thousands of dollars to raise money for building programs. Churches would not have to choose between programs and strategies to reach the neighborhoods and having a heart for the nations. Radical change would mean a Kingdom mindset which would mean these choices would be based on God’s direction and guidance not to build edifices for the glory of man or programs simply to entertain the chosen few.
If Christians were practicing Biblical Stewardship, then churches could easily send 10% to the Cooperative Program (CP). If churches had simply kept giving to CP at the levels of 1980 of 8%, my understanding is the additional money received would have more than filled the needs of our International Mission Board, other SBC agencies, and our State Conventions. If churches were giving 10% to the Cooperative Program and members were radically changed and practicing Biblical Stewardship, the choice wouldn’t have to be between the Associations, States, Nation, or having a heart for the nations.
God’s plan is for us to be radically changed. I admit that my heart is for Tennessee….I have been to Portugal and to Brazil, but my heart didn’t come back “Saying Give me Portugal or I die”…Thanks to David Platt’s willingness to express his thoughts…I am asking God to give me a heart for the nations. But I join him in this statement, “There is a God-designed way for us to live our lives here, and do church here, for the sake of people around the world who don’t know Christ.”
Could it be that way is to allow God’s to radically change us so that we practice Biblical Stewardship that leads to churches cooperating together so that the world is reached for Christ?