It was a classic case of, "Oh yeah, I've heard of that book, but who is [author's name]." I had heard plenty about Radical. Several friend have read and raved about it, but I had never heard the name David Platt until my time at Catalyst. Putting the book with its author's name was only the beginning. David is an example of James 3:17. His wisdom is considerate, full of mercy, impartial, and sincere, but it is incredibly bold and blunt (as it should be).
I am king of honing in on statements probably meant to be 'filler' or flippant, because the statement David said that struck me most was:
"Budget season is where we come face to face with how little we trust God's word."
I have always said that if your creativity is based on your budget, then you aren't creative at all. But this statement cuts a bit deeper.
I remember the first time I heard the term "faith budget". It was a term I was never taught in all my ministry classes. Once I learned how a faith works, I got used to determining what I would seek to accomplish in ministry based on how much my budget offered me to do.
This quote was not easy to hear or apply. Truth often has this effect.
When budget season comes around, it inevitably comes with stress. Why is that? It is because we are worried. We are worried whether or not we will have the money to continue the things we are doing in ministry. We are worried whether or not we will have the money to accomplish the dreams we had for ministry this coming year. We are worried whether we will have the money to accomplish all the evangelistic methods we have acquired. (What a shame Jesus didn't have the advanced evangelistic methods we have today.)
But the starker reality is that we are worried that God's grace and the gospel of Jesus is not really sufficient. We are worried that Christ and him crucified might not be enough.
I'd say the Holy Spirit is accomplishing great things without the resources and budgets that we have here in the American Church, but we have come up with so much stuff to get us and others excited about Jesus...as he needed those things to prove how incredible he is.
I need to change some things...