The Greatest Challenge of the New Millennium

Welcome to Wednesday and to our discussion of Richard Stearns’ book, The Hole in Our Gospel! My co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen and I thoroughly enjoy our discussions about this book and we welcome you to stay and discuss the topics each week, whether you’ve read the chapter or not. Each week, we provide a link widget. This week, the link widget is at Jason’s site, Connecting to Impact. We ask that if you’ve written your own post on this chapter, you link it up there. And we invite and encourage you to read each of the entries there because we have such great contributors! We hope you enjoy the discussions and we hope you keep coming back to take part!

Last week, I shared with you that Christian Book Distributors has copies of the book on sale for $5.00 each for a limited time. Evidently, they are still having this sale. If you have not purchased your book, I highly recommend it.

And now, Chapter 8 –

In the previous seven chapters, we’re really been discussing our hearts in relation to the Gospel and in relation to sharing the Gospel. But this chapter really begins to turn that outward. It takes the question we’ve been asking—What Does God Expect of Us?—and really starts to show us the answer.

And that answer hurts.

It challenges.

It convicts.

“For the first time in the history of the human race, we have the awareness, the access, and the ability to reach out to our most desperate neighbors around the world. The programs, the tools, and the technologies to virtually eliminate the most extreme kinds of poverty and suffering in our world are now available. This is truly good news for the poor—or is it? Not really, because we are not doing our part.” (Richard Stearns, p. 104)

Stearns talks about the Good Samaritan and again, I’m convicted. I have an awareness that there are hurting, starving, dying people in the world. I have the access and the ability to help them. So, why don’t I? Why do I often see the need and just keep walking?

This summer, I traveled to Sudan and met children who were starving and uneducated. I helped them for a few days. How can I help more?

Last week, I read online that in the last year, at least 15,000 women in Eastern Congo have been raped by rebel soldiers as an act of war. What can I do to help more?

Today, I heard about a popular entertainer who had some of his teeth replaced with gold and diamonds. And as judgmental as it is, I was angry. How many children could have been fed? How many lives could have been saved?

One of the first lessons my counselors taught me when I started counseling is that I can’t control anyone else’s actions except my own. I can’t control that this rich man put his money in his mouth instead of putting his money where his mouth is. I can’t control that there are dying people in the world. What I can control is what I do about it.

So, what am I going to do about it?

What does God expect of us? To do anything and everything we can do to reach out to His suffering world.

What are you going to do about it?

About Sarah Salter


  1. I am going to get off my duff.

  2. Amen Sarah…I read this chapter over and over…so much pain in the world. Our (my) response is one of repentance right now…direction will follow. Thanks for your insight!

    Rescue the poor and helpless from the grasp of evil men. Psalm 82:4

  3. Sarah Salter says:

    Dusty & Jay- Thanks for coming by! I wish I’d thought to mention this in the post… (I was sick when I wrote it, so I wasn’t thinking clearly…) But I find it very appropriate and ironic that when we taught children’s church in Kenya, we taught the story of the Good Samaritan. WE are the ones that have trouble living it out, yet we were teaching it to them. We probably could learn a thing or two from them…

  4. You talked about an entertainer. I am wondering about a church that has filed for bankruptcy with over a $30 million dollar mortgage. WOW! We can look at the “world” and shake our heads but when I look at the church I want to…let’s just say barf is a nice way to put it. You make an excellent point here Sarah. The church I pastor just moved into our first “home” and i want to make sure we keep our focus where it is supposed to be.

  5. The importance of this can’t be overstated. We can’t change anyone else, but we can lead by example and do our part. It may not even look like a lot, but it will make a difference. Time to get to work! Thanks Sarah.

  6. Sarah Salter says:

    Bill- In my experience, there are churches that spend so much time, money, and energy building the perfect, most state-of-the-art, user-friendly buildings that they don’t have time, money, and energy into building CHURCHES. Several years ago, I worked at one of the largest churches in the part of the state that I lived in at that time. The problem was that as incredible and phenomenal as their campus was, it wasn’t a safe place, where broken people could come for healing. I won’t expound on that anymore, because I think you know what I’m saying. The church isn’t about the BUILDING. It’s about the LOVE OF CHRIST being expressed and changing lives! Let’s focus on that and not on what color the carpet is.

  7. Sarah Salter says:

    Jason- Thank you! I agree! And again, I’m reminded of your wife’s words quite a while ago about how all of the small things make such a dramatic impact in the Kingdom at large. So true! The widow’s mite was larger than many offerings because of the heart it was given out of…. Not because of the amount of the coins.

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