Thursday, October 9, 2008

Navigating the Economic Storms of Life!

No doubt, everyone should realize that our world is encountering a change of epic size. The economies of the world are in deep trouble. People are in deep trouble at home. What can be done? How can we survive the change that is of itself, changing? For the next few posts, we will explore the basics that we as leaders can share with our people to assist them in functioning in these economic storms.

#1 - Simply our lives!
We all live more complex than needed. It appears that we have failed to realize that our complexity is one of the ingredients leading us to financial disaster. We each need to look at what we can cut from our expenditures. We need to take a serious look at it. Mow our own grass. Wash our own car. Cook our own food. Take our lunch to work and school. Have our children ride the bus. Iron our own clothes. Rediscover family time with games and walks in the park. Ride bikes! Get back to the simple things of life that do not cost!

#2 - Buy Smart!
Rather than buying new cars, figure out how to get more miles out of the cars we have. Don't fall for the "cheaper gas mileage" scam and take on a big car note just to save gas. Make the clothes you wear, last longer and forget about being "in style". Watch out for the sales! A sale may not be cheap enough for you to afford! Stay home on Tax Free weekends! If you must buy, buy two weeks after a Tax Free weekend when the items are on sale for 20% off - get the savings?

Stay tuned... More to come!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Economic Storms and Ministry

Today's economic climate is one that actually could benefit many churches in America. Over the past 10 - 15 years, the teaching of Stewardship has declined at an alarming rate. Fewer Pastors than ever have a teaching/preaching plan that includes Stewardship. As a result, tithing and giving are not part of many young Christians lives. They have been substituted with Debt and Frivolous Spending. How will those of us who lead people in the churches week after week respond to the new climate this will be around for a while?

First, teach Stewardship! If God is first, then our spending and managing of money should reveal this. For those who cling to the idea that "tithing" is for the Old Testament only, great! Teach new Testament Stewardship where the 10% was raised! The Bible is not silent about this subject and we as leaders must learn quickly to put our fears aside and teach the people that God has entrusted to our care the real answers to the needs in America - Great Stewardship!

Second, ministry needs are in need of changing! We must focus on "true" ministry that reaches people with the Gospel. Missions is a must. We must also insure that those things we fund are essential in growing disciples of Christ. I am a firm believer in churches leading the way in their budgets and spending plans. Drop the frivolous, and embrace that which is needed!

Third, focus on you can do things in a simple manner. Simple does not have to be "cheap" but it can be less expensive!

More next week!