I called a dear friend recently whom I hadn’t talked to in a while. She and her husband are small business owners. They are furniture crafters who have spent the last ten years building a solid, reputable business. I was dismayed to hear that like so many others the economy may soon put them out of business. They have the customer base they need but need operating capitol to put product on the floor. Like so many others, they can’t find a bank willing to loan to them.
I can understand their frustration. We moved right as the economy shifted a little over 18 months ago. Our house sat on the market for a year and a half as we watched its price drop. We went through either four or five failed contracts because of an inability of our buyers to get financing.
So I am pondering, What can individual Christians and churches do to respond to the economic down turn?
First, I am wondering what christians, particularly christians with wealth, can do about this. Perhaps, it’s time to seriously consider investing directly in the lives of Christian business men and women who are struggling out there. I am wondering how we could match the needs with the resources.
Second, I am wondering if churches with monies invested, shouldn’t be taking a significant chunk of that money and find a family like the one I know and help them succeed at their business rather than help feed and cloth them after it fails.
Third, what can we as churches do to educate people on good stewardship in tough times? What can we do to help families establish budgets and healthy financial practices that get them out of debt?
I suspect that there are a number of churches out there already doing very creative things along those lines. If you are a reader whose church is doing so, please comment and share.
In the meantime, let us prayer for the many people, churches, and businesses that are being radically effected by the economy. Ultimately, our hope and security lies in God. Economies will come and go. God’s goodness and grace is eternal.