We’ve all heard of ‘steet evangelism’, but have you heard of ‘street collectionism’? Since passing the plate around every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night isn’t enough; the queen bee sends out the drones on the busiest intersections to ask for donations. Equipped with buckets and posters explaining their worthy causes, this hive of busy bees risk life and limb darting in between lanes and knocking on car windows. Of course everyone is buzzing around with blazing smiles wearing some christian culture couture (ya know the cliche t-shirts with crosses, thorns, and nails embedded with bible verses).
As i drove past this group of Christians on the corner of Atlantic Blvd and Hodges Blvd in Jacksonville, FL, it took a great amount of effort to not yell out the window at them . . . well, also the fact that i don’t have power windows. I’ve never seen this group on this corner handing out water, or even evangelizing. If you are not seeing the problem with street collectionism, i think you need to reread what the gospel is about, what the church is here for, and what are our responsibilities.
The fiscal responsibilities of the Church is not a public matter. If the Holy Spirit is not moving within the hearts of the Church to fund your little pet project or or christian class trip, then there should be shame in the lack of financial, spiritual, and theocratic support advertised to the public. If God has failed to provide for his own ministry through his own institution; then you’ve gotta ask some serious questions about the existence of that ministry . . . either that or the incompetence of God.
1 Timothy 5:8 states, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” If we cannot provide for God’s house within the house of God, then i would even seriously question my faith. That is if God is who he says he is? Is he not the owner of a cattle on a thousand hills? I hope you can see that street collectionism is a severe dilemma; and not about some silly teenagers hanging out on the street trying to collect some pocket change for their innocent little trip.
If we are serious about God and our mission, than we’ve gotta get serious about our representation of Christ. Standing on the street corner, begging for donations is not cute. It’s not funny, and it is theocratic mockery.
As a child, if my father saw me on the street corner begging to strangers for bread, i am sure it would have embarrassed him. How much more would our heavenly father be displeased to know that we’ve outsourced our financial responsibilities on the public?
Since our actions speak louder than our words, I believe street collectionism answers questions about the sincerity of our faith better than our christian couture does. Anyone can wear Jesus, but not everyone can be Jesus. I am challenged just as much as anyone with this statement also. It’s been quite some time since i’ve distributed cold water in the name of Jesus, and only for the sake of Jesus without an alternate agenda.
Jesus doesn’t need solicitors; he needs disciples who will make disciples, who will make other disciples. Leave the soliciting to the Red Cross and the Girl Scouts.