Lesson from the Mamas and PapasJanuary 25, 2008
In the song by The Mamas and the Papas called “California Dreaming”, John Phillips sings: “You know the Preacher likes the cold, he knows I’m gonna stay.” The songwriter is saying that the preacher in California likes the fact that the cold of wherever this guy is from is driving him to California where he will settle down and stay. And everyone from Minnesota said, “Amen”.
I was at a conference of Church Planters this week and at one dinner table we were discussing the financial collapse that is currently happening in our country. With dropping house prices and stagnant wages, it is going to be a hardship for many people (and already is for some). But is there a silver lining? If there is, it might have to do with Church Growth and health. When the economy turns in this country, people are much less likely to make risky moves. When things are booming, people are tempted to cash in the profit on their homes and move where the next fortune can be made. This causes the local church to suffer the difficulties of an ever-changing human landscape. Here in Sacramento, with double-digit percentage drop in house equity, threat of floods, rise in unemployment, and very little relief in sight, it is doubtful that anyone wants to make a huge move right now.
That may mean people will stay put for awhile and actually put down roots into the community. That, by the way, is the only way a community really has a chance of being a nice place to live: When the people who live there have been there for a long time.
This preacher likes the current economy. Well, perhaps like is too strong a word…maybe I can appreciate that there is a side to it that can work to God’s advantage. There usually is. Remember Acts 8 and the great expansion of the early church which happened because a huge persecution arose against the church and spread them running to many regions of the world. God often uses hard times to get His work done.