From the latest issue of Enrichment comes this excerpt of J. Don George’s new book, Against the Wind:
Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He didn’t leave the world in its status quo. He stepped out of heaven to make a difference. It cost Him dearly. Are the people in our communities worth the price we have to pay to reach out to them? We must overcome old, suspicious, stiff, self-absorbed, lethargic ways.
Many pastors see a few black or Hispanic faces in their congregations on Sunday and assume they are reaching these cultures. They may be doing a great job of connecting cross-culturally, but they may be doing nothing at all. We need to gauge the effectiveness of our cultural awareness and outreach by the comparison of our church demographics with community demographics. In 1995, Calvary was 98 percent white. Today, we are a clear reflection of Irving and the surrounding community: 30 percent white, 30 percent black, 30 percent Hispanic, and 10 percent Asian.
Love propels action; but, when love is absent, we withdraw into the safe confines of the status quo. We are glad when someone responds to the gospel, but we seldom invest our time, energy, or reputation in pursuing outcasts, sinners, or foreigners.
We need to ask penetrating questions:
Do we see people of other races, cultures, genders, and ages as annoyances that ask too much from us?
Do we see them as projects to pursue?
Or do we love these people so much that we’re willing to take any risk and pay any price to reach them?
Read the whole thing here. And watch J. Don George’s message on the same topic from this year’s General Council in Orlando, Florida.