“Hi James, it’s great to see you again. I’m glad we could get together for lunch.” I said that with all honesty – James is one of my favorite mission-minded friends in the whole world. But I had a little tinge of discomfort. 

James is a ministry-relations director for a foundation. Our ministry had launched a pioneering ministry outreach called Send North America – a ten-month training mechanism for young adults. We had asked for a grant to help reach out and recruit young adults to this young, fragile movement. James championed our cause at the foundation and granted us the funds.

It was a relatively small grant for the foundation, but huge for us. We had poured our efforts into the project. The strategy was a miserable failure. In my report to the foundation, I said, “What we tried, failed. We learned what doesn’t work.” I didn’t know what to expect as my luncheon with James began.

James broke the ice, perhaps noticing my nervousness: “You know what is my greatest frustration with pastors and churches?” he asked.

I didn’t respond. I didn’t expect the question. And, I didn’t have a clue.

“It’s their unwillingness to risk,” he said. “It’s their play-it-safe, comfort-at-all-costs approach to ministry,” he sighed.  …read the rest of the story

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