A friend of mine sent me a link to his worship leader’s blog site, and he had a short (but thought-provoking) entry pertaining to the effect the economic downturn will most likely have on our churches. Here is the entry in its entirety:
I recently heard someone say in the context of how churches will behave economically in the downturn…
The last thing to go in the American Church will be lights and sound. The first thing will be their mission budgets.
Who knows, maybe the Church of Christ has it right in that regard. What would acapella worship with a thriving missions budget look like in Kingdom terms? A lot better than a big worship budget but no missions budget. But that wouldn’t be that different then when times are prosperous now would it?
In the secular world, sports take precedence over education. We see high schools and universities pouring money into sports programs, and when budgets need to be adjusted it’s almost always in the area of education, not in the arena of their favorite “pass-time”. Unfortunately, I think in many ways our church has absorbed our culture, and sadly I think the statement is probably correct. It is the missions budgets that will go first, and for exactly the same reason as it does in our secular institutions. Because where we put our priorities all too often is not in educating the ignorant (whether that be a secular education or taking the gospel message of our Lord Jesus Christ), but in vain-glory of our own selves. Even secular education, when it succeeds, should help a person to appreciate more of the world and culture they live in, pushing their focus out beyond their own selves to see a bigger picture. How much more important is it for the Church to do this for the body of believers–by reaching out to the *un*believers in need of a Savior? This is the education the world needs to turn away from their own selfish and sinful nature and to see their need for a Savior. But alas, I fear that when it comes down to it, as the person above said the economic downturn will probably just mean less incentive to our “teachers” while the crowds still gather in the stadiums to be entertained. I pray it won’t be so.
Peace & Blessings,