"God wants to bless
We believe God prospers people so they can have enough for themselves and enough to share. We call it “prosperity with a purpose” After all, if we're broke, how can we be generous to others?"
Someone who listened to a speaker last week showed me this and asked me what I think. I have been mulling on it for a few days and it comes from the website of a church I like and a preacher who blessed me. For some, you will think this smacks of the prosperity gospel but let's be really honest- this theology is not in great danger of catching fire currently in the C of E. We lean in entirely the opposite direction and far too often have a prayer-less, faith-lacking poverty spirit that holds little prospect that God can and does provide for our needs and the needs of others.
As it happens, I have been summoned to hear of the dire financial trouble my own diocese is in and perhaps there is something for us to learn from this extraordinary city-shaping church (love the way they stamp 'DONE')? The word 'crisis' has been used. We're seemingly broke-ish or that's the way it's sounding and if so we don't then have enough to be generous with and that's a problem- a real problem. Do we opt for 'austerity' and cuts, as appears to be the gloomy plan, or go with the penty French and spend a bit to get a bit and pray a bit to get a bit? One may ask what on earth have we have been spending all the money on and why has it borne us such poor returns? And we are not the labour party on Question Time so please let's not blame the bankers for this. Only in the C of E can we organise a meeting to deal with a 'crisis' and have it in the diary for eight weeks time:)
It's also good to consider the C of E's purpose. The website is right in saying resource needs motion. Without a clear articulation of purpose you are unlikely to direct your resources with wisdom and effectiveness. Now might be good time for a fresh look at what it means to be a church on a mission and ask the question why, in so many places, do we not appear to be on one.
I have also been reading 'The blessed life' by Robert Morris which Craig Groschel says he recommends to everyone (penty prosperity literature as the title goes on to say '....: The simple secret of achieving guaranteed financial success' but it is an interesting read. You'll always sell a few copies with a title like that though). Fear not, I am not about to buy a white suit, a sports car and launch a telly channel and in truth theologically and temperamentally this sits uncomfortably with me but let's all have a think together and see where we land shall we?
Might it be timely for me to buy my Bishop a white suit and a copy of the book? Seriously, do pray for him and his team. He needs wisdom.
It's just a thought so don't bite my head off.