This post is from the defunct blog “Dying Church”
I'm preaching today on Luke 12:13-34. It's a fairly radical passage. Jesus tells the story of a man who has a good year in business and decides to keep his earnings for himself. His soul is repossessed, and Jesus issues a call to his disciples to trust him and to practice radical generosity by using (or selling!) their possessions for the benefit of others. Pretty radical stuff. It's radical enough to practice this as individuals. It's even more radical to apply this to our churches. How can a church use its resources, or come into a windfall, and say, "We're not going to use this for ourselves. We're going to trust God, give this to others, and be radically generous." The thing that God condemns in the man is that he thought his stuff was for himself. Truthfully, this can apply to many churches. We have our buildings and programs, and we view these as tools for Kingdom growth, but most of what we collect stays with us. We rarely take an offering and decide to give all of it to the poor, or to the church down the street. Hard to preach this to the congregation without also thinking about how to apply it to a local church as a whole.