Shortly after the tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas - where 27 were murdered and 20 injured - I granted an interview to a news outlet. I told them something that caught them a bit off guard.
"Sir," I explained, "this tragedy in Sutherland Springs will affect people for about 21 days. And then people will go back to normal and give little thought to it." I spoke those words while standing near the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.
Churches have been lighting up my phone, and flooding my email inbox, with requests for help. Truth be told, there is no way I can get our team to all of these churches (it would take 3 years).
And in all honesty, I don't need all the work. I'm tired, and a bit sick. Two weeks ago, while conducting a seminar in Kansas, I had to have friends take me to the nearest emergency room. But I wasn't able to shake what I had contracted and had to get to another doctor when I got back home. I type these words from a parking lot outside Houston, Texas (where I'm scheduled to speak to 200 pastors tomorrow).
I DON'T NEED THE WORK. At some point I was hoping to enjoy retirement. I wasn't planning on running around the country warning churches about violence!
But now I see a danger; the "21-DAY RULE" is kicking in!
Just today a leader of several churches in his area called to cancel a scheduled seminar. The "interest just isn't there," he said. He wasn't happy about it. He knows the need is there. I then explained to him the "21-Day Rule." And today is 22 days removed from the Sutherland Springs massacre (yes - I missed it by a day).
Churches are placing their heads back in the sand, making the assumption that "it probably won't happen here." This is not a plea for you to bring us in. This is a plea for you to not fall back to sleep. This is a plea for you to don your uniform, man-up, step up to the plate and protect your flock! Do NOT allow another tragedy to serve as your alarm clock.
Anyone remember the massacre in Las Vegas? 58 dead, over 500 injured. And we are hardly hearing a word in the press about what happened there. The country has moved on! "That's old news," a College Dean told me today.
"But Jimmy," some will say, "It's the Holidays!"
Yes, you're right. Tis the season to be jolly: Christmas Trees, snow, carols; that's what season we are in. But the holiday season means nothing to the criminal mind. As a matter of fact, the first Christmas Story tells us of horrid violence.
When King Herod learned about the birth of the Christ Child (though it was probably 2 years later), he was enraged that another king had been born. Filled with fury, he had his soldiers go on a killing rampage - killing every little boy under 2 years old.
The first Christmas was not safe. As Actor Chuck Norris wrote, "Tis the Season To Increase Church Security."