Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cheating the Church

Andy Stanley, senior pastor at North Point Community Church in Atlanta, wrote a book a few years back called Choosing to Cheat. Although few people really think about it in a practical way, the premise is pretty simple - you only have so much time to give, so something must be "cheated" at the expense of something else. In other words, most folks must divide their time between work and family. Spending time in one area, by default, cheats the other area. If one area must be cheated in the giving of your time, Stanley says, choose to cheat work, not family.

At last weekend's Willow Creek Leadership Summit, Stanley touches on this issue as it relates to building the Church. Conference-goer Tony Morgan remarks, "Andy explained that God has never commanded him love the Church. He was commanded to love his wife. He was never commanded to build the Church. Jesus said He would do that. Instead, we get it backwards. We try to go build the church, and we pray that God will take care of our family."

As a vocational minister, there are certainly times (more often than I care to admit) that I am guilty of failing to find good balance between time spent at the church and time spent at home. While not to be taken to the extreme, (disproportional neglect of one area for the sake of the other), Stanley makes an interesting point - certainly worth consideration.

Check out the rest of Morgan's comments, including the impact this has had in Stanley's church and ministry, here.

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