Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Confessing my poverty mentality...

I had a strange feeling as I sat in our conference room with our staff yesterday. We were in an adequately sized room with furniture that wasn't cast off from someone's tired living room. The air conditioning was keeping us cool on a hot day. The room was well lit and...I felt guilty. What was that all about????

I thought...oh no, I'm not going to be able to function here. It's too nice. We've always been "lean and mean" when it came to purchasing. Scrimp, scrimp, scrimp. How can I justify anything this nice? But then I realized what I was doing. I was revealing the poverty mentality that pioneers often have. It's this weird blend of pride and self righteousness that says... if you really love Jesus you won't buy anything new. You'll just get by with what you can.

This attitude appeals to pioneers. We are wired to get by on very little and we tend to think that because WE feel this way everyone else should too. But not everyone is wired that way. They see the worn out furniture and wonder if we take ourselves seriously. They wonder if we really believe in our vision. They wonder if we care about others and not just your spiritual pride. They look at something like meeting in a mall and wonder if we have any sense of permanence and tradition. I think these are fair questions that pioneers need to answer.

You see, pioneers are not more spiritual than settlers. Even pioneers have to settle down at some point. And when they do...they need to deal with their pride. I know I do.

I would have loved to have had our new building for Brian Hartz's funeral...a place to welcome his family and friends...a lobby where they could all gather in couches and tables to talk and reflect. With our new building we can offer funerals, weddings, baptisms and every Sunday morning.

Nice is not the enemy of spirituality. Nice can bring welcome and comfort. I mention this because I know many of us at Cedarbrook are pioneers and we will struggle with having a quality building with nice furnishings. But's not about's about our guests. I really believe that our new building will send a strong message to our community that we value them and have done our best to create a welcoming environment for them to encounter the living God.

Join me in shedding pioneer guilt and being thankful for all that God has given us...for HIS glory.

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