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Las Vegas, Flood-Stage Moments, and Resisting "The Bystander Effect"


In the wake of Las Vegas, let’s remember that most tragic days begin quite normally.

So make the most of the moment. Seek God. Love. Apologize. Do the right thing. And while we’re at it, let’s continue to pray for all so terribly impacted on Sunday night.


Our journey through Joshua continues this weekend. We’ll all face “flood-stage” moments in our lives. Read Joshua 3 and come ready. If you know of people who are facing “flood-stage” moments, please bring them this weekend!


It’s called “diffusion of responsibility” or “the bystander effect.” Generally speaking, the larger the group,  the less likely it is that a person in the group will take responsibility for acting to help someone, report a crime, or be engaged in a solution to a problem.  In large groups, many have a tendency to assume “someone else will do it.”

There are blessings that come with being a part of a sizeable church. There are challenges as well.  One of those challenges is “the bystander effect.” We’re in an important season at The Branch in which every household is needed. We’re a little more than a month away (November 12th) from asking every household to share their particular financial commitment to making our Beyond Me initiative a reality. You can read more about the initiative here.

Some have asked about the three-year commitment to this project. Our reason for doing it this way is to give us time to fulfill a significant financial commitment to this effort, while also enabling us to develop a three-year plan to pay for the project in full.

Each one of us can make a difference during this 36-month walk of faith. Let’s resist “the bystander effect.”  We have a remarkable opportunity to exponentially impact this project with the commitment of the first $2.5 million given being matched dollar-for-dollar.

People give at different paces during a capital campaign. Some give once a year and others give quite frequently. The chart below might be of some help in discerning how each of us can play a part over three years. (Keep in mind some months are four weeks and some are five weeks, which makes the monthly average seem strange.)   

Weekly         Monthly        Three-Year Total

$10               $43               $1,560

$25               $108             $3,900

$50               $217             $7,800

$100             $433             $15,600

$150             $650             $23,400

$200             $867             $31,200

$500             $2,167          $78,000

I know there are some pretty big numbers in there. We have a big God. We have a big mission. And we’re following the One who made the biggest of sacrifices for the sake of all those beyond Him. Including us.

Let’s continue to pray, listen, and obey.

Grace and Peace,

See You Thursday Night or Sunday!


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