A while back, our Business Manager here at Grace Church (Andrew Norton), sent me a great illustration he found while trolling the hundreds and hundreds of blogs he keeps up with on a regular basis. He got this illustration from a man named John Atkinson who is the Discipleship Pastor at Bay Area Fellowship Church in Corpus Christi, Texas. I know nothing about Pastor Atkinson or the church he is on staff at, but in light of our SUPER SIZE GIVING SUNDAY that is coming up one week from this Sunday, I thought this illustration was worth stealing and putting into my blog (sorry, Pastor Atkinson, I guess I should have e-mailed you and asked your permission first…go ahead and feel free to use anything on my blog that you want in return…if you can find anything useful).
Pastor Atkinson wrote that he ran across a quote from “A Treasury of Bible Illustrations” (a book I also own as part of my library). It was one of the most profound answers he had ever heard for those who criticize how much is spent to keep a church growing, healthy, and life changing. Here is the quote:
“On June 2, 1980 a little girl was born. She cost money from the moment she was born. As she grew from babyhood to girlhood, she cost even more. Her dresses and shoes were more expensive as well as the doctors for all those childhood diseases. She was even more expensive during her school and teen years. She needed long dresses to go to parties. When she went to college, it was discovered that all college expenses are not listed in the catalog. Then after graduation she fell in love and married. She had a church wedding, and that too, cost a lot of money. Then, five months after her marriage she suddenly sickened and within a week she was dead. She has not cost a penny since the day the parents walked away from her grave. As long as the church is alive she will cost money, and the more alive a church is, the more money she will cost. Only a dead church is no longer expensive!”
WOW! That’s powerful! In fact, why don’t you go back and read that quote again. I believe that the local church is the New Testament version of the “storehouse” spoken about in Malachi 3:10 where God says,
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”
The church is the only organization given by God in the New Testament for the avenue of world evangelization. It is the church, my friend, which is the hope of the world because only the church has the life-changing and transforming message of Jesus Christ who is without question the way, the truth and the life. So, all of you blog readers who call Grace Church your church home, be praying fervently regarding your participation in SUPER SIZE GIVING SUNDAY come February 24.