If we’re talking about a home, you may have to look pretty hard, even in this market, to find a nice one. But if it’s a car you want, that kind of cash can set you up really nicely. Or maybe all you want is a week for the family at Disney World – and that wouldn’t put too much of a dent in $60,000. You could have dinner for two at Morton’s Steakhouse in NYC for two hundred consecutive nights. Or (more my speed), 20,000 Whataburgers—extra jalapenos, please.
But what kind of Kingdom impact does $60,000 have? According to several studies, that is about what an average American church spends for each conversion. And that number includes “organic” commitments—children who have been raised inside the church family and then make their own commitment. This means that a church with a budget of, for example, $900,000, might see fifteen persons come to faith in an average year.
And the cost per conversion goes up virtually every year.
I find that to be an extraordinary number, and an incredible indictment of American Christianity. Excuse my bluntness, but I believe it reflects bloated budgets and misplaced priorities.
- $60,000 can take 20 children off the streets in Brazil, and probably 15 of them will become believers; and then they will bring others into the family of Christ.
- $60,000 will feed 120 children for a year in Africa.
- $60,000 will care for 30 children of prostitutes in India, rescuing them from a certain future in the sex business.
But we continue to pour dollars into building monuments to American Christianity.
“Where your heart is, there will be your treasure.”
What’s wrong with our hearts?