Monday, July 23, 2007

DEAD, BUT FARMING

The lead headline on msnbc.com this morning grabbed my attention: Dead, but Farming.

Clicking through, you find that the US Dept of Agriculture distributed $1.1 billion over the past seven years to farmers who were dead. The Government Accountability Office found that officials approved payments without any review 40 percent of the time, including $567,000 to an Alabama farmer who died in 1981. Another estate received payments on behalf of a person who died in 1973—more than three decades ago—without any investigation or review.

What does this say about leadership?

Quick segway—for much of my adult life I got off track on my walk with Christ. Sure, we were members of a church. I was there on Sunday, especially on holidays (and whenever my parents or in-laws were in town). My children were all baptized. And yet, I was just going through the motions--without a lot of action. I guess you could say that I was spiritually dead, but farming.

What does that say about church leadership?

Yes, individuals need to own their own faith. But as members of a church body, perhaps church leaders should be conducting “investigations and reviews” as it were. And perhaps, having ‘dead, but farming’ members shouldn’t be tolerated.

I’ve been intentional about my walk with Christ for the past six years, and there have been ups and downs. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been held accountable by the teams and small groups I’ve been involved with. But not everyone is so connected – what happens to them when they need spiritual CPR in order to stay alive? Those who are sitting there, year after year, simply farming.
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18)

The community of faith I belong is trying – the leadership team goes through a page of the directory each week to see who’s “connected” and is on the lookout for people who go MIA. Some people appreciate the "how are you doing" calls and needed the lift up. But my guess is that others simply reply, "doin' fine, just farming, thanks."

1 comment:

Kansas Bob said...

This is very impressive and really inspirational:

"The community of faith I belong is trying – the leadership team goes through a page of the directory each week to see who’s “connected” and is on the lookout for people who go MIA."