Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Leading in a Time of Financial Crisis 2

Pastoral Care

The prophetic message is a very important message for our congregations to hear; however, we need to communicate it with much grace. As we prophesy concerning the potential collapse of capitalism as we have known it, we need to be aware of the pastoral implications of such a crash. I can imagine the situation in a church meeting where an excited prophetic type is praising God for bringing down the economy, while next to him stands a man who has just been made redundant for the 3rd time. As he is about to lose his house because he cannot afford the mortgage payments, he follows the first man with a prayer asking God, ‘Please give me a job so I can feed my family’.

These days could be upon us sooner than we think and we will need wisdom in leading our people to agree with the prophetic edge of all that is happening in the nation while standing with those who face the loss of earnings.

Last night I spoke to a single mother who has two jobs to make ends meet, she has just lost one and will not be able to keep up her mortgage payments; this brought into sharp focus the pastoral implications of the days and months ahead.

Practical Teaching

We have regularly taught the church here at Kings about good stewardship. I have taught the 80/10/10 principle for over a decade. Live off 80% of your income, give 10% and save 10%. Avoid debt like the plague. I am trusting that this teaching ‘investment’ will have placed many in the church in a good position. But as some will lose their income I intend to ask those in employment, and especially the rich, to give more. The New Testament teaching of proportional giving may be even more relevant in the coming years. On my next post I will look at the leadership challenge of setting a budget, one of the only times in leadership when we attempt to predict the future, and suffer bad consequences if we get wrong!