I drove by a shopping plaza and I saw several stores that had recently closed. I overheard someone say that all of these stores closing is a sign of the economy. The 2 people talking mentioned how the economy was the villain and the cause of all of our woes and they moved on.
I stopped to think for a moment and I thought, "The economy isn't the villain. The economy is simply revealing the problem."
"What's the problem" you ask. It's a bad plan. Let's think about this:
– It's a bad plan to live off credit, which is what many of these businesses did and when the credit ran dry, their business was over.
– It's a bad plan to not have a marketing plan that continually drives customers to your store.
– It's a bad plan to think we're always to going to live in the "7 years of plenty".
Here's the kicker: churches do the same thing. But we can learn the lesson and grow wiser.
– Get your financial world in order
– Create an outreach strategy that makes sense and won't break the bank.
– Don't overcommit yourself and put the church in a tough financial position
– Budget conservatively. You can always bump up your budget if God blesses above what you expected.
– Reducing a budget is a lot harder and usually bring casualties.
The economy has made our lives a little tougher, but if it's forces us to seek God more and put together a better strategy then maybe we should be grateful.