On Saturday I was part of a Bay-Area wide gathering of ministry leaders in downtown San Francisco. I rode along with my pastoral friend Danny Wallen, Lead Pastor at High Street Community Church in Santa Cruz. The event was hosted by TBC (Transforming the Bay With Christ) a group founded by Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware. Pat spoke about TBC's hope of connecting best ministry practices and ideas, and through these efforts foster an environment of ministry collaboration that could lead to a spiritual awakening in the Bay Area. It was so cool to hear from a godly man who is passionately serving the kingdom of God while serving as a leader in Silicon Valley's halls of influence. Pat laid out some pretty sobering facts about the Bay Area's spiritual condition:
- The average income in the Bay Area is $98,668 a year, and that means Bay Area residents are in the top 1% of the most affluent people in the entire world
- The Bay Area average amount given to charity is less than 2.59%. Our giving is far less than the poorest regions of the American South that give far more generously though they have far less.
- 66% of Bay Area residents have NO religious affiliation of any kind
- San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose have the least amount of "churched" residents among the largest cities in America.
- Gelsinger's final observation - "We are rich, influential, miserly, pagans."
We kinda need God's Spirit to blow a fresh wind in this place don't we?