Well…it’s time to get back in the saddle. I hadn’t planned on being gone for so long but I got swept away by life over the past two months. So let’s get reacquainted. Hi…my name is Jeff. Good to see you again. Now that we have that out of the way…
I’m not the type of person who puts a lot of stock in statistics one way or another. People sometimes build entire arguments or make important decisions based mostly on statistical data. I believe it is a mistake. Don’t get me wrong, statistics can be helpful. They can help us understand trends or give us an idea of what people think. However, statistics need to be understood amidst the context of their environment and influencers. That being said, let me hit you with some stats posted by Zach Nielsen that I found very thought provoking.
At the recent Passion 2010 conference in Atlanta, this is what was accomplished through the giving of 20,000 twentysomethings that showed up.
Building an education center for the Dalit people of India through Operation Mobilization. Goal–$75,000. Given–$92,753.91.
Small business loans for women in Haiti through Hope International. Goal–200 x $200 loans. Given–$64,412.34 for 322 loans.
Bible translation for Shatika and Rom People of SE Asia with OneVerse. Goal–translate 4000 verses at a cost of $100,000. Given–3134 verses/$78.359.
Sponsor 100 seminary students in the Middle East with E3 Partners. Goal–$30,000. Given–$45,318/151 students.
Build 10 wells in Guatemala with Living Water. Goal–$50,000. Given–$113.865/22 wells built.
Provide 100 cleft palate surgeries for children in Afghanistan with Cure International. Goal–$55,000. Given–$68,160.54/111 children get surgeries.
Package and send Bibles to unreached people in Asia through Bibles Unbound. Goal–3000 Bibles packaged and $3000 to cover cost. Given/Done–3000 Bibles packaged/$9,530.56 given to send more.
Build a border outpost in Nepal to intercept sex trafficking victims through Not For Sale. Goal–$25,000. Given–$86,516.72 for 3+ border outposts.
Support a Child Survival project in Indonesia through Compassion International. Goal–100 students x $20 a month for one year = $24,000. Given–205 students x $20 a month for one year = $50,170. (The 12 month commitment represents pledges for this cause).
Package meals through our partner Feed My Starving Children. Goal–package 100,000 meals at Passion 2010 and give $17,500 to cover costs. Given/Done–108,432 meals packaged and $17,533.32 given.
Sponsor children affected by HIV/AIDS in Mozambique with World Vision. Goal–200 students x $35 monthly/package 1000 Caregiver kits. Given–174 students x $35 monthly/1000 caregiver kits assembled.
Drink coffee and fund projects in Ethiopia through our partner Gobeana Coffee. Given–$24,548.
Total given at Passion 2010 = $724,480.42.
IN ADDITION, a family at Passion 2010 matched the total as of Tuesday morning with a gift of $668.597.00.
And here’s what Michael Kelly had to say about it all:
That is audacious. It’s astounding. It’s unbelievable.
And perhaps there’s a ton we can learn there. Maybe in discipleship as a whole, the problem isn’t that people are getting left behind; maybe it’s that we’re not expecting enough from them. Not expecting enough financially. Enough commitment. Enough intellectual output. Maybe Christ was onto something when he said that if anyone wants to follow Him, they should come and die.
So what do you think? Do we expect too little from our church, fellow Christians, and ourselves? Personally, I think Michael makes a good point. Maybe we live by a comfortable Christianity that expects little beyond regular attendance on Sunday and Wednesday, monthly tithing, and enrollment in one of the hottest new programs to hit the church since Jabez. More on this tomorrow…but feel free to leave some thoughts.
(HT: Zach Nielsen)