Not Playing for Peanuts
Here’s a story I came across recently. It made me think about our need to take bigger risks for the kingdom in the coming year:
A lady was going through the Philadelphia Zoo, and she saw the monkeys playing with dice. She went and told the keepers that somebody had thrown some dice into the monkey cage. The keepers didn’t believe her. She said, “It’s true; come and see.” They went and saw, and it was so.
They said, “Yes, Ma’am, you’re right,” and turned around and started to walk away. She said, “Aren’t you going to do anything about it?”
They said, “No, they’re just playing for peanuts.”
Perhaps that’s the issue for most churches today? We’re playing for peanuts! Throughout the history of the Christian church, believers have understood just what is at stake and have been willing to risk any thing, and everything in order to see God’s kingdom advance. Today the church is challenged because risk-taking for the kingdom has been reduced to worship styles, a tieless speaker, and an acoustic drum set! While those are significant strategies to attract non-attenders, and a younger audience I think we have to promote riskier behavior in order to see God’s kingdom realized.
I’m convinced that “riskier” behavior centers on bold acts of compassion on behalf of those around us. Real compassion is risky, disruptive, and uncomfortable. But the potential impact for the kingdom is enormous. As we gather each week for worship the question we constantly have to ask is, if our church closed down would the people around us even notice? I know this question has been posed before and I can’t remember who said it but it is poignent.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not promoting foolhardy, recklessness, but rather abandonment unto God that says, “I’m yours Lord”! I’m yours Lord, and whatever the price, wherever you would have me to go, I will go. How will you push the envelope with compassion? What risky, compassionate, cause is God calling you to be a part of in 2013?
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.” John 14:12