"It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. I t is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity."
— Frederic D. Huntington, Forum magazine, 1890.
I found this quote in the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Last week my ministry coach made a statement about hunger… like the "Eye of the Tiger" kind of hunger that drives you go at something with all that you have. We were talking about some of the challenges of gathering people to launch a new church and wondering out loud about why some churches seem to explode with growth and others seem to meander along at a slow pace. From his observation, it seems like many of the churches that do well have leaders that have this kind of hunger… this willingness to risk it all for the sake of the gospel. Now, hunger and passion are certainly not the only factors involved. There are hungry and passionate leaders who have not seen the kind of fruit that others may, and I'm not sure why that is. The point, however, is that succeed or fail, win or lose, we are not called to pursue God's dream for our lives with lukewarm sentiment. God calls us to go all in and trust that he is going to be in the details. I'm not always good at this… are you?
I sometimes like to watch poker on TV. It's amazing how compelling it can be to watch a few people sitting around an oval table in a dark room playing cards can be. The game that they most often televise is called No-Limit Texas Hold Em'. It is a simple game really. One announcer says, "It takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master." I won't go into the ins and outs of the game, but the "No-Limit" part means that at any given time a player can bet all of his/her chips by going "all-in". It can be a risky proposition to go "all-in" because the game itself can be so unpredictable… and these people (I'm not condoning gambling BTW) are often risking hundreds of thousands (sometimes millions) of dollars in doing so. That being said, if you talk to any poker champion they will tell you that to win a tournament and get the big payout you have to be willing to put everything on the line.
So the question for me is, am I willing to go all in? In what ways have I held back so far in this new adventure of church planting? Am I hungry enough, or am I resting too comfortably in the things that I can physically see and touch and taste? Am I willing to risk it all for the sake of the call?