Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Economic Meltdown is Not an Obstacle

“I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me.” (Philippians 4:13, KJV)

The economy continues to worsen. The same government officers who created the mess are now trying to fix it. Like calling the arson that set the fire to help put out the fire, our elected leaders are throwing everything they can think up at resolving the meltdown. The price of the global bailout is now at $8.5 trillion in commitments by the U.S. and other governments. Many financial experts expect the final bill worldwide will be between $20 and $40 trillion, and even the experts don’t know if the bailouts will work.

The reality is that Pastors and leaders of nonprofit Christian ministries must recognize the economic meltdown. Simply to ignore it and go on as if nothing is happening will surely bring problems for your ministry.

Having a “can do” attitude and convinced that with Christ we can do all, I believe this is a time to move forward with determination and optimism. Yet, I am at my core a realist. So, how do we recognize the economic meltdown and move forward with determination and optimism?

First, keep your long-term goals in sight, but impose strategies in the short-term that will strengthen ties and deepen relationships with your constituents. This is not a time to alienate any of your supporters. Find ways to thank them for believing in the mission and purpose of your ministry.

Second, keep in mind that since 1967, philanthropic giving has steadily increased, although slower during economic slowdowns. So don’t panic. You do not have immediately to begin to slash your budget, but you do have to stay on top of your cash flow trends.

Finally, view this as an opportunity of character building. While we cannot control the economy, we can control how we react to the recession. Keep you chin up. Keep your friends close. Accept that these are challenging times, but be positive and confident. Be a good listener, but tell the positives of giving. Remember that with Jesus, we can do all things.

Prayer: “Jesus, help me to view the economic meltdown as a chance for you to build my character, and not as an obstacle to the mission you have given me. Help me to stay positive and focused on the long-term goals of the vision.”

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