Andy Stanley issues this challenge: ‘Suppose you had seven credit cards in your purse of wallet and you lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the six and go to search for the missing one until you found it? I lost a credit card recently and never once pulled out the one I hadn’t lost to obsess over it. I felt no urgency about my un-lost credit card. I didn’t call a single person to say that I still had my American Express Card. But I did start calling around to see if anyone had seen my lost MasterCard. When you lose something important, you obsess over it; you get preoccupied with it. It’s pretty much all you think about. Remember the last time you couldn’t find your phone? Remember the embarrassing, ashamed-to-admit-it panic that started to filter across your common sense? You took no comfort in all the other un-lost electronic gadgets lying around your house, did you? You were on a mission. Why? You lost something important.

What does your church obsess over? What is your church preoccupied with? – Churches for churched people obsess over the most frivolous, inconsequential things. It’s why you dread your board meetings, your elder meetings, and your committee meetings. You rarely talk about anything important. You’re managing found people. I know you care about unfound people in your heart. But do you care in your schedule, your programming, your preaching style, or your budget? Do you know how much difference the care you feel in your heart makes in the life of someone far from God? None. No difference. Your dad loved you in his heart. But it was the love in his schedule that made the difference, wasn’t it? Do you really want to spend the rest of your ministry years feeling something you don’t do anything about? I hope not. (…) Jesus said there is more rejoicing in heaven over newly found people than people who haven’t been lost for a long time. Would you like to know why there’s not all that much rejoicing in your church? It’s a church full of found people. Come on, do you really want to spend your life managing what was lost to the neglect of what’s still lost?

Source: Andy Stanley, Deep and Wide, 2012, Michigan USA, Zondervan, p.314-316