Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How to Live Unusually

Fidel Castro once said that if he had to begin another Cuban Revolution, he'd feel comfortable starting with only 10 or 15 men this time (compared to the 82 that he originally had). Says Castro, "it does not matter how small you are if you have faith and a plan of action.” To think that this man could have enough confidence to do that kind of thing, and with such a small group of people, is nothing short of amazing. When you think about it, though, the worldwide phenomenon that is Christianity began with a group of only 12 Jews (the Apostles) in a backwater province in the Roman Empire (Judea) during a time when the wider Greco-Roman culture felt hostility to Jews and the Israelite people despised and hated Christians. While the growth of the Church is ultimately due to the grace of God, I believe that He worked in and through many different methods and situations. Here's an idea about a method I think we Christians could use to change our world today.

Idea #1: A Full House
If Christians rented places together in large groups, that would free up a lot of money which could then be spent advancing the Kingdom of God. Starting in Moose Jaw, for example, I'm pretty sure that you could expect a reasonable place for between $600-$800, depending on where you look. From that point it would only take a little ingenuity (and the use of bunk beds) and you could start a Community House with established rules, pooling money to use for the cause of Christ. The following is the breakdown of what that could look like financially.

The Costs of a Christian Home
When you're done buying the bunk beds, selecting just the right shower curtains, and finishing up your artistic wall-murals of stories from the Bible, you could have something approaching the following basic monthly budget:

Total Income For the Month - $6,000 ($1,200 per person)
Rent for the Month - $800
Food for the Month - $600
Internet for the Month - $50
Phone for the Month - $300
Bills for the Month - $200
Total Costs for the Month - $1,950
Total Surplus for the Month - $4,050

The Possibilities of a Christian Home
Could you imagine the possibility of an extra $4,000 a month to throw around for Kingdom purposes? Here are just a few of the things that ONE house could accomplish (based on a ten-month figure of $40,000): the house could send an intelligent Christian student to a prominent University, thus (eventually) providing the wider church with another helpful voice in the world of academia; it could fund the first year of a church plant single-handedly; it could support missionaries in local and international contexts; it could pay for evangelistic resources to reach the lost; it could generate great advances in the fight to end poverty; it could start a savings fund for use in helping struggling families, adopting children, and supporting the community, etc. One community house might only be able to do a couple of these things, but a small group of Community Houses could accomplish them all.

For Those Who Say "I Wish We Were Like the Early Church..."
In Acts 18, St. Paul evangelized the huge city of Corinth with two helping factors: One, living in a Community House, pooling the resources of Paul, Aquila, Priscilla, Timothy, and Silas. Two, there was a huge donation of money from the churches in Thessalonica and Philippi, probably made possible by Christians in those towns who were also pooling their resources. If the early church spread by pooling its resources and living in community, couldn't that be a good idea for us too?*

The whole idea is to pool resources, move into one space with a good-sized group of Christians, and live simply while devoting the extra money to funding the spread of the gospel.

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