The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice. (Proverbs 13:23 ESV)
A study showed that religious belief abound more in the economically poor of the world than the economically rich. Is it because the world of the poor is more simple than that of a rich person? A poor person does not have to worry about their 401K funds or even whether to take the Bentley or the Mercedes to work that morning. Their needs are more basic; whether or not the car will run long enough to get them to work, whether they will have enough money to afford dinner tonight for the family.
The phenomenon of the Mega-Church has become almost commonplace in the United States today. Gone it would seem is the small, local church of the community and in its place is the 10,000 plus membership church that spans the many communities surrounding it. These churches bring together a wealth of resources both in financial strength and spiritual gifts. But are those tools being used for Kingdom building? Or are the Pastors leading these churches living in multimillion dollar homes and wearing silk suits?
When a person who is in dire financial straits approaches one of these mega churches, are their needs met? Or does the multimillion dollar building project for the new sanctuary take precedent? Does the church resources tend to go out the door in outreach programs or does it stay within the church walls, placing soft carpet on the floors and ensuring plush seats for the 'saints'?
The fertile ground of the field of the poor is ripe for harvest. When the church meets the immediate needs of the person, they can produce major food for the salvation of many more. But more often in today's society of mega churches, the needs of the poor in the community are overlooked in favor of the physical or financial comfort of their membership. And the field is rendered foul because of this lack of compassionate ministry.
When you walk the halls of your church, do you see the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of the community being met? Does your church budget tend to lean more towards the inside or the outside? Does the upgrade on the new plush seats take precedent over an outreach program to feed the needy in your surrounding community? Does your church spend more in equipping the saints to go outside the walls in outreach or more in making sure the cappuccino machine is stocked with the latest flavors?
We shouldn't render the fertile fields unusable due to our own shallow needs. Through the injustice of being 'rich', we can lose the ability to harvest those ripe fields. That 'poor' person that comes to your church in need can affect the lives of many others that may never reach the church doors. The church that meets the physical, mental and spiritual needs of the 'poor' will find itself expanding beyond the simple walls of its home.
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