Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Andy and the Bridge

You've probably heard of Andy Stanley. You may have heard many of his inspiring talks, or read one of his many books on church, leadership, and following Christ. They remind us of all the great things Jesus challenges us to do. Feed the hungry. Give to the poor. Care for the sick. Lead humbly, and serve sacrificially.

Which is why his newest move as a Pastor is confusing so many...or at least...me. Even after reading his explanation and call for his own people to contribute financially. I don't get it.

The issue? Traffic around his church is bad. Like....having to wait 20 minutes in the parking lot because of the jams after church bad. So how are they calling their people to respond? Staggering service times? After service small groups that meet for short times of prayer? Other creative ways of lowering traffic levels? Nope.

Building a bridge that connects their area to better traffic of course. How much are they asking their church to help raise??

$5 Million.

Seriously. Not even sure adding words that would seem obvious to many of us here are worth it. 5 Million Dollars to build a bridge so congested post-church service traffic will flow better. Could it be that there are many other useful things in that area that the public would be HUGELY benefited by this new bridge to help them reach other destinations? Nope.

This could be a silly thing to get riled up about. I'm sure large churches spend ridiculous amounts of money all the time on "necessities" like man made ponds with fountains, etc. etc. So what's wrong with a 5 Million Dollar bridge? Isn't it just like building a giant parking lot that serves even more purpose?

I think it's the fact that he's actually presenting it as being "missional". As if, when Jesus gave His disciples the Mission of the Church, doing something like this was on his mind. Tell them it's about traffic. Tell them it'll help the flow of cars. Get the richest people to donate. But c'mon Andy, to plead with your congregation that Jesus desires you to build this bridge in order to fulfill the mission of your church???? Really????

I'm sure it took them a long time to decide this, and with the amount of press it's getting they're going to continue to have to respond to people questioning and wondering. Stanley says it's all part of "getting to most use of a building we're already using", etc. I guess I'm glad I don't have to make decisions like that on such a grand scale. Then again, we just spend a couple grand from a grant on some new chairs for the youth room. Same disease?

I don't think so. Mainly cause I'd be honest. The chairs are for sitting. Their for the comfort of butts. The mission of the church is not about the comfort of our rears. But it's nice to have decent chairs....and I'm sure there will be some impact on overall atmosphere.

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