Last week I wrote a little on our financial woes but I wanted to look on the other side. You know in this time of financial trouble it is easy to loose track of important matters in our panic. It is very possible that if we do things right, the church of Christ could truly thrive in the midst of trouble.
One of the founding factors in this trouble has been increasing energy costs. That means that everything is going to be more expensive and that includes the huge mega churches that we have been building. I don’t think we are going to see an increase in their number because they are simply going to be priced out of existence. But that isn’t necessarily bad news; it means we are going to have to adjust to new ways of doing things.
I believe one of the reasons the Bible doesn’t give any prescriptions on how the church should operate is because God knew it would have to thrive in many cultures throughout the ages. I think we will have some great advantages if we take advantage of them.
1. We can eliminate some of the more useless programs that simply attract the “Serve us” instead of the Service Christian.
Let’s face it as an organization we have tried every marketing ploy and outrageous idea in order to attract people to the church. Some have been affective but most have been laughable. Now maybe we will be forced back to the basics.
2. Smaller organizations
I have spoken many times about the benefit of smaller organizations but it never hurts to do it again. We may actually be able to build community in smaller churches with more ease. Less wasted money because there will be less to waste.
Small organizations have a higher percentage of involvement. When you can’t simply pay someone to do the work the leader’s job really becomes “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,”
3. No more prosperity
False prosperity gospels had an easy time flourishing in the soil of our rapidly rising economy but when things are turning around I think it will cause people to be a little more discerning.
4. Building Community
I have touched on it a little but I believe our economic times have helped us to ignore one another. My child hood home didn’t have Air conditioning and my mom used to sit out front and so did the rest of the neighbor hood we would talk to each other. If we actually turn the AC up and have to go out side it might be nice.
Or it may be difficult to go out on the town so we may have to have people over for an evening; there is something much different about inviting people into your home. Let us not forget how the gospel was spread from house to house in the early church.
Heather and I have recently taken a friend into a spare room in our house, she needed a place to stay and we had a room. It seemed only right that we offered her our spare room it wasn’t quite a necessity but who knows it may be depending on how bad things get.
We can’t always do what has always worked but we can always find new ways of doing things for the sake of the Gospel.