Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Rick Steves: A Missional Christian

Rick Steves - tv travel guru - is a staple of the Pacific Northwest. Every time I hear about him, he gets more interesting. Apparently, in addition to all his other praiseworthy eccentricities, he's using his retirement nestegg and his daring vision to help house homeless women and their children in Seattle. He writes about this project on his website, in an article titled "Trinity Place." Read the article: although Steves is driven by altruistic motives, he speaks plainly about the wise finances of charitable ventures. (I think he should open a consulting firm, too!)

The whole thing is worth reading - but two paragraphs lept out at me:

As a Christian, I believe in tithing. And as a Christian businessman, I think a business can have this kind of giving as a goal too. A business has a lot of potential for good in its community. In my creative charitable initiatives, I hope to inspire other business people to do more than canned food drives. I was inspired this way back in the early 1980s when I met with a group of local business people who were supporters of Seattle's World Concern (a relief agency working for caring Seattleites in the developing world). I hope Trinity Place inspires other individuals, businesses, and charitable organizations to creatively use their capital (even if on a smaller scale) to buy simple existing housing to equip non-profits to help our homeless.

As an American and a liberal, I'm tired of hearing people say "there's not enough money." With any honest assessment, there is enough money. But we as a society have different priorities. As a Democrat, I believe providing affordable housing (like health care and education) is a responsibility of society in general — implemented efficiently by government. But I'm willing for now to be proceeding in the "thousand points of light" and "faith-based" Republican style which prefers to let the people who really care handle the problem apart from government involvement. But I do this under protest. I believe this can and should be performed most fairly and efficiently with governmental initiative by society as a whole. In short, an enlightened society brightens its world in unison and doesn’t need a thousand points of light.

Thanks to blogger John for pointing this out!

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  • defintely missional - gotta do a post about this

    thanks for the tip!

    By Blogger Missional Jerry, at 3:36 PM  

  • "implemented efficiently by government"

    Utterly delusional.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:50 AM  

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