I found this in Mark Buchanan’s new book Your Church Is Too Safe and found it too good not to share. Buchanan here quotes E.V. Hill, a prominent African-American preacher who spent his entire life ministering in inner-cities. On one occasion Hill was preaching in an upscale white suburban church and this is what he said:
As I drove to your church building this morning, through your neighborhood, I noticed you folk have a lot of fine things. You have big houses, and very pretty. You have lovely gardens. You have new shiny cars. You have schools that got no barbwire around them. It’s very nice.
But something’s missing, and at first I couldn’t figure out what. Then it hit me. You ain’t got no graffiti. None. You can’t have a hood without that. I tell you what, I’ll go get some of my boys, we fix that for you. And I’ll even suggest what word we write in our graffiti. We write it on your schools, on your homes, on your cars and on your boats, even here on your church. The word I’d like to write is this: “Temporary.” All this stuff one day goin’ up in smoke.
Now here’s the deal. You could give up a little bit of all that temporary stuff and get yourself something that’ll last forever. \