As evangelical Christians, we spend a lot of time navel-gazing to figure out where we’ve gone off the rails. I believe Neil Cole gets it better than most. Follow the money. Here’s what he says:
I often ask myself what non-Christians think of Jesus solely on the basis of how Christians spend their money. If indeed how we spend God’s money reflects what is most important to our God, then the conclusions the world makes about the Christian God will be important. If you look just at that, the Christian God must be concerned with our Sunday rituals, more so than anything else. It would appear that God is also interested in the idea that we know certain facts about the Bible and that He grants more spiritual empowerment to those who know the most. How could non-Christians think otherwise, considering the great deal of time, effort, and funding going toward an hour-and-a-half experience once a week in which teaching is the primary focus? We could show the world the love of Jesus in so many more tangible ways, but instead we continue to invest billions of dollars in a once-a-week event hoping to impress people into becoming church members. Perhaps we think they will also give us money to put on next week’s event. I am confident that our spending habits as a people reveal that we spend more on ourselves than anything else.
–Neil Cole, Church 3.0