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August 10, 2007



I love Richard's comment on giving others the "chance to fix themselves."

Too many times we are eager to provide the fix and it ends up being short-lived.

Jeff Pessina

I love the idea that the Church could fix world poverty in 10 years. Now there's not just a huge idea or dream, but in 10 years! Wow, give me some more of that!
A few years ago I stirred some people (and myself even) by challenging the assumption that said, "Well, we KNOW we can't help all the street kids out there." Something in my heart kept asking, "How do we KNOW that? Has anyone ever tried?" I suspect rather that we have simply allowed the paralysis of inaction to set in based on an accepted and unchallenged supposition that limits us because it limits God, and therefore shackles the Church. It's certainly easier and more comfortable to believe that we CANT solve the world's problems; and since we can't, we might as well get back to the football game. And then of course there is a lot of theology to get through too. Did Jesus come to feed the poor and fix the world? If not... back to the game again. Perhaps until we can understand social responsibility purely as social opportunity, we'll never do what we REALLY could do.

Tony Myles

Some great texture to these notes... thanks for this!

Mark Borgetti

Ok, you were the guy I wanted to sit next to in class because you took such good notes (and lots of them)!!!!

I see Richard as someone who first chose to "take action" and second "hoped for results." I think what stops so many people is the fear that they cannot make a difference ... "the problem is too big" ... "what can I do" ... if I remember correctly, Jesus said in two different passages ...

a) take care of the poor.
b) you will always have the poor with you

Do you think Jesus' second comment is a little prophetic? Just because the problem will not go away does not mean we should ignore it. I highly doubt Jesus is going to say to each of us when we get to heaven, "You blew it ... you didn't eradicate poverty." But when compassion and mercy guide and motivate our churches to take action ... whether we completely fix the problem or not ... when we do stand before Jesus we may just hear, "well done good and faithful servant."


Excellent interview; my favorite take-away is his thought on motivating people.

Jeff Pessina

I agree. It's not about what we didn't do as we tried; but about what we did do because we had the opportunity to do it! I believe few people understand how big the open door is that the Lord has set before the church. It's the opportunity of a lifetime... to impact the earth with the Love of God. If the Church would really, as I say, "set God free" (to be and do what He is and wants) it would change the world in short order.

Desiree Guzman

I loved the stuff Richard Curtis said. But I love more the things he is doing. I'm glad we're talking about what he said, but I'd rather talk about what we're going to do as a church. Shane Claiborne says in his book, "Irresistible Revolution" that if we really want to be good stewards of the resources God has given us, then we have to ask ourselves how God would spend them. And if we ask that honestly, then we have to wrestle with this question: "Would God really use his resources to build some of his children the most luxurious mansions to while others live in filth?" Together we are the body of Christ, but somehow we've dressed the body in a way that drapes some parts with diamonds and designer fashions, while leaving other parts naked and exposed. Maybe the wrists should give up their diamond bracelets and the fingers should give up their diamond rings so that the exposed lower half can at least cover itself with a towel or something. This is definitely my own personal area of Holy discontent. I hope that the Summit -- which had a special focus on the poor -- will lead to more than interesting conversation. I pray that we won't stop at being excited when Bill Hybels says, "the local church is the hope of the world." I pray that we will have the courage to actually be that hope. But that would require that wealthy churches give -up a little something so that desperately poor churches could have a little something. Check out
2 Corinthians 8:1-15. I read it this summer while I was visiting churches made of mud and corrogated steel in a slum in Nairobi called, Kibera. A place where kids run barefoot on roads that flow with sewage. It shook me. Here's the part that really did it...

"Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: "He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little."

Plain and simple: we've gathered too much and we are not sharing it with those who gathered too little.

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