So, where is radical faith today, especially in light of the call of Jesus to live counter to culture with unrelenting care for poor, the left out, the left behind and the marginalized? Does the church reflect more of the popular culture of media, society and consumerism than it does a vision of the "out there" notion of the kingdom of God? Check this out from Marcus Carlson's blog.
The church today resembles culture more and more, and unfortunately, instead of changing the world, the church has been changed by the world. This is backwards, and while we must minister to the culture we live in, the church is losing its identity.
Here are five of the ways I believe the church has been changed by the world:
The church has become overly corporate.
The church has become too corporate. In fact, most churches in the United States today look and act a lot more like a business than they do the body of Christ. Certainly the corporate world can teach the church much about systems, processes, policies and how to handle finances; however, the church has not used discernment as to which corporate values should be applied to the life of the church and how those values should be applied. We treat our ministries and programs as products, look at our congregation and community members as customers, and seek to please rather than to lead.
It's still true: CitySquare needs investors who will remain consistent in their financial and spiritual commitment to see us grow in effectiveness and impact on quality of life issues among thousands of our struggling, low-income neighbors who visit us each year.
We're refining our "portfolio" of products to increase our effectiveness.
Our new Opportunity Center brings a white hot focus on jobs and employment improvement to South Dallas/Fair Park. The resources for training, employing and sustaining financial improvement are in place. We know that this new focus will open doors for better lives to the people who are ready and willing to seize the new opportunities that we are now able to offer.
We need special investors to partner with us to sustain this new intensity at a time when the job market is improving.
We need investors who will:
1) Make regular financial contributions to CitySquare. We can't work well without consistent funding.
2) Volunteer to serve as a "coach" for people entering the workforce.
3) Volunteer as an instructor in our new get ready to work "boot camp."
4) Volunteer to be a "buddy" to a person who is in training as they move into employment.
5) Offer up jobs for the men and women we train. Allow our team to partner with you and your company to help make these eager employees successful.
6) Make sure your current and new employees, who qualify, file for the Earned Income Tax Credit. See to it that your company and employees regard the EITC as a "company benefit" that rewards hard work.
I'd love to talk to you about these investment opportunities! Shoot me an email (ljames@CitySquare.org) or call me at 469.904.7016.
HOUSING IS ESSENTIAL
The Wealth of the Poor
Larry's new book, now available from Amazon.com! Also, now in Kindle format! To place your order visit Amazon.com today! Also, available at Barnes and Noble bookstores and on the web. Click on the image above to order!
Gotta love this city!
Larry James' Urban Daily
A repository of ideas, resources, commentary and opinions concerning the issues facing low-income residents of the inner cities of the United States and how mainstream America largely forgets or, worse, ignores the day-to-day realities of urban life for the so-called "poor." Written and edited by the President & CEO of CitySquare. Please visit CitySquare.