Confronting the top 10 threats within the church
Church Priorities & Myopia

Imagine that a missionary from your church is gravely ill in Afghanistan and treating him will cost $1,000. Imagine also that your church building needs a new coat of paint that will also cost $1,000, and your church only has $1,000. The choice is obvious, isn’t it? Should it be any less obvious if the missionary is an Afghan Christian not affiliated with your church?

While "church" has come to mean a building or those who meet in it, Jesus wanted it to be all believers in the world: “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:20-21)

More Christians have been martyred in the last 100 years than in the preceding 1,900 years combined, and are being martyred today at the rate of 19 per minute in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Africa, while millions more lose their jobs, homes, face imprisonment, torture and are maimed for their faith in Christ (the last page refers sites with more details).

Where are the God-given resources for their food, clothes and medicines? Much of it is here in America. Billions of dollars are collected in the name of God across the country, yet most of it isn’t flowing to our suffering brothers and sisters in the rest of the world who need food and medicines far more than we need buildings and "fellowship" events.

God’s will for them will prevail, for He is God. But what will He say to those who held back His resources?

"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:41-46)

What should be done?

1. Churches need to radically re-prioritize what they pray for and direct resources, including financial, not to the perceived needs that are geographically closest but to the most dire needs, wherever in the world they may exist.

2. This means that we will need to trust some of our perceived local needs to God's future provision instead of our annual budgets. If those needs are truly of God, He will meet them. If not, He won't, and show us that they never were.

3. If your church isn't spending the Lord's resources wisely, give to God what is His through organizations like Autumn Rain and Asia Harvest, which for every $2.25 donated prints and smuggles a bible to persecuted Christians in a country where they are banned.