I was having dinner a while back with a relative of mine - he's an atheist and loves to engage me in "religious" conversation any chance he gets. At Christmas, he'll take a shot at me by saying something like, "So, how's business these days? Raking it in are you?" Other times, he'll keep the focus on money and go into a hysterical monologue where he plays the role of preacher and sounds something like "Open up your hearts! Open up your minds! Open up your wallets!" Ha, ha, ha. If my relative would ever step foot inside Community Christian Church, he'd be pleasantly surprised to know that Giving Back to God sounds nothing like that.
Don't get me wrong, I like my relative, I enjoy his company, and I'm praying for him daily to find his way back to God. Two weeks ago he was over to my house for dinner and parked his brand new car (very, very expensive car) on my driveway. I told him not to! I said, "I think you should park it on the street so it doesn't get scratched." Guess what? He didn't listen (kinda like he doesn't listen when I talk God with him) and my oldest son accidentally ran his bike into the back panel. Bummer!
Anyway, since we were on the subject of cars, he was fishing for information about our church, what our staff gets paid, what Dave gets paid and what kind of car Dave drives. You see, he was figuring that Dave gets paid a ton of money (which he doesn't) and drives an expensive car like his. And if he could verify that through me, then that would validate his belief about Pastors and Churches being only interested in people's money. What a great setup for me! I smiled at my wife who was sitting at the table with us and I proceeded to answer his questions. And I totally flustered him when I got to share that Dave drives a red, 1994 Toyota Paseo! You should of seen the look of disbelief on his face! But its true. Check it out - quite a humbling driving experience!
But this week I got a bit nervous, I heard Dave was considering getting a different car. I thought, "Oh great, he's probably gonna get some snazzy new car like Tim Sutherland or Eric Metcalf :). That's all I needed in light of my conversation with my relative.
But fortunately and staying true to his humble personality, Dave is considering a new set of wheels, but I've got nothing to worry about if he does. Here's what Dave won't tell you - he's considering a downgrade to a 1992 Pontiac Grand Am - Green. I love you Dave! Thanks for leading by example! Your choice in cars may just be the thing that helps my relative find his way back to God.