Last night, I had the opportunity to hear a local pastor* teaching on Richard Stearns' book, "The Hole in Our Gospel." The pastor was talking about the 12 BIG challenges in our world today. The statistics that he shared in each of these areas were mind-blowing. Here they are...
1) Poverty (as he said, a very complex problem)
3) Water (lack of clean water specifically)
5) HIV / AIDS
6) Tyrannical Leaders (I was so glad he talked about this one)
8) Sex Trafficking/Treatment of Women
10) Abortion (again, glad he mentioned this one)
11) Spiritual Emptiness
12) Apathy and Selfishness of the Church (OUCH!)
These 12 enormous problems demand our attention, but I also think they demand our cooperation. More and more churches seem to be responding to these needs these days, but as I sat there listening I could not help but think that these things are just too big for any one church or any one organization or even any one country to tackle on their own. WE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER to effectively address these big issues in our world today. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the stubborn insistence we have of operating independently from each other only exacerbates many of these problems. Duplication of efforts, redundant spending, overlap, and lack of adequate resources are just a few of the issues we could eliminate if we came to the table together, each bringing the resources that we have, and seeking God's solutions.
Anyone have further thoughts on this? I'd love to hear if you've seen cooperation among churches or organizations make a difference in any of these areas.
* Dr. Donn Chapman, Cornerstone Ministries, Export, PA