My mentor often quotes Bill Bright – The curse of the Christian is the comfortable (this is my paraphrase!). It is astounding to me that ministers think they deserve ‘things’ as if it is a right – such as a Christmas bonus, or more commonly a raise. It often made me sick to the stomach to hear colleagues complain that they have not had a raise in salary. And I even had one person tell me not to take a ministry job because I was not paid enough!! Francis Chan nails it when he says:
God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.
Two books which impacted me in 2011 were Crazy Love by Chan and Radical by David Platt. I regularly re-read these books or least sections to remind myself of their perspective and their view of God from the scriptures.
American pastors need to shake themselves free of the curse of the comfortable – to stop seeing good salaries, good benefits, nice houses, good pensions, generous bonuses as an entitlement. To get to that point means you are really ineffective for the gospel because you will not go wherever God sends you – you will go wherever it is comfortable.