I posted on Facebook a photo of a helicopter just outside Willow Creek Community Church. I assumed, perhaps wrongly that this belonged to Mark Burnett. This hollywood producer was the last speaker of the day and having shared that he was in the middle of filming Survivor, Shark Week, The Voice and Shark Tank – and other smaller productions – it seemed to me a likely scenario that the copter was for him to return to the nearby O’Hare airport.
As the copter was there the next day it clearly wasn’t his, but perhaps it had been leased to ferry the list of high profile speakers to and from O’Hare. I really don’t know. Assumptions are dangerous – aren’t they?
The immediate reaction to my posting on Facebook suggested to me that we struggle with those within the church who have considerable resources. Every church has someone or a few someones with some resources – more than most. Our personal envy gives us away – doesn’t it? We don’t like seeing the new car, the new home, the ability others might have to purchase what is to us inconceivable.
Yet, God has granted to these people these great resources and if the Scripture ever had application this might be it. To those much is given, much will be required.
My experience has been encouraging – when those who had much were indeed gracious, generous and above all responding to God’s call willing to be responsible for what they held. In fact I found these were the folks who often shared in ways that no one knew anything about. Quietly they answered God’s call to help others.
My concern is that judgement on those with means, direct or implied, is not honoring to Christ nor helpful to The Church. Envy betrays us – it divides us – it brings no honour to The Church or the name of Jesus.