Undermine the 80/20 Rule (part four)

Here’s another look at the 80/20 Rule and its connection to the culture of cowardice in the North American Church. And, it may be hard to hear.

Could it be that a distorted substitute for biblical grace has taken the Church?

Consider how little the Church asks of Christians… in the name of “grace”.

And, consider the abundance of resources we make available to Christians who are expected to contribute next to nothing in return. Churches, in general, are so transfixed with providing for their own that they have little time, energy, and resources with which to serve those outside.

Think about it:

Baby dedications. Baptisms. Child care. Mom’s nights out. Children’s ministry. Youth group. Relationship counseling. College and career ministry. Pre-marital classes. Weddings. Marriage counseling. Divorce recovery. Grief counseling. Financial management seminars. Debt counseling. Bereavement care. Memorial services.

Our churches provide cradle-to-grave services to the saved— most of which are free of any call that the recipients contribute their time, energy, or money to the community of faith from which they take, take, take.

Is it any wonder that fewer than 10% of church-dwellers tithe?

Ever attended a church while it undertook a major capital campaign?

What happened?

For a capital campaign to succeed, two things have to occur: those who already give must dig deep and give more—usually a lot more—and they often do. And also, those who rarely give and who only gesture at giving are called upon to sacrifice as well—and that’s where the commotion commences…

Doesn’t it?

A capital campaign–like the claims of Lordship that Jesus so clearly articulates–calls each of us to painful sacrifice. In Matthew 10:38, Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, and 14:27 the gospels record Jesus’ clearly: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Yet, in our commitment to be visitor-sensitive, we communicate in dozens of ways that cross-bearing is optional.   Not expected. And, certainly not insisted upon. And then, when we finally call our people – all of them – to get in the game in a sacrificial way, many of them pack up and leave for another church. Or, no church at all.

Don’t they?

And, look where all this visitor-sensitivity has got us.

Do you see maturing disciples all around you?

Do you?