Tim Sean's latest blog discusses one of the neglected costs of discipleship. An earlier blog is also helpful.
There was a time when Baptist churches grew uncomfortably large and deliberately called out members to leave and start new churches in their community. That was in the 1940's and 50's and 60's when ministers were more concerned about building God's kingdom than their own.
Today, many Baptist ministers just seem to be interested in building bigger barns. To human eyes, money spent on brick and mortar seems more durable than resources invested in transient and fragile flesh and blood.
OBU's former PR Director seems to have suffered from an attack of truth-telling. He asked whether it was healthy for the community-at-large for an established, influential church to abandon an inner city. He questioned the value of spending more than ten million dollars to build new facilities in an affluent neighborhood and wondered whether it would drain scarce resources that might best be used improving the spiritual atmosphere of an impoverished neighborhood.
Shawnee is not the first city to see it's churches abandon the impoverished neighborhoods where the needs are greatest. This is not the first truth-teller to lose his job for failing to hold his tongue. Many moderate Baptists will find the truth he tells as offensive as do Fundamentalist Baptists. We know how to follow the money as much as they do.
Still, we ought to be wondering whether this former PR Director is not right for pointing out the foolishness of our churches. What does it profit if we gain the whole world, and lose our own souls?