We live in a world that revolves around the financial markets. People can argue all they want that we have other things that top our collective agenda – culture, art, science, religion, the NFL…but really, the world revolves around global financial markets. It is as simple as that. Countries in Europe defaulting left and right affects our 401ks. National debt at over $16 trillion affects the interest rate we can make on our investments. Hurricanes and droughts affect the prices of gas and food. It’s all about the money. Now certainly we can talk about this in negative terms which will simply give the news cycle legs and broader voice in our communities. And we can give into the wave of depression that comes upon the heels of bad news OR…
One of the shows that I periodically watch is “Mythbusters.” It is fun to watch the zany things that they try to prove as either truth or urban legend and myth. Some of it looks like fun while other parts of it are a little more dangerous than I would care to be involved in. Of course the object is to bring to light truth and myth and to identify which is which through science and experiment methodologies. Method, methodology, Methodism…hmmmmm!
I was in a learning session a week ago yesterday and we talked about good gossip! If gossip is a form of communication in every human circle, including the church, then the challenge is to use it for our benefit! It could be a methodology of sharing positive information for the greater good instead of it always being bad info that is also divisive. So let’s give it a whirl!
Last night I received the monthly financials from our church treasurer. Sometimes the way we act sends an unintentional message to folks who have limited access to information. So here is some access for all of you. I ran the numbers between giving and expenses. How many of you think that the church is circling the drain? You hear our prayers each week and our conversation each month and you would think that we are in the same situation as Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, or the US. But we aren’t! That’s the good little secret, the good gossip! Two facts that I will share with you that are positive signs, healthy indicators and good gossip to share.
First, we are currently under our budget – my last count was above $10,000 which is significant. We are doing exceptional ministry within and outside of our community of faith and doing so with fewer resources. It is not out of necessity or austerity – it is an act of faithful stewardship and conscientious planning that has empowered us to do this. I give thanks to God and our team for their leadership and wisdom in handling our resources.
Second, we are very healthy financially as a church. We are not running a surplus yet, but we are also not running a huge deficit either! Our gap between giving and expenditures is a shortfall of a little less that $2,500 for the year. Now I think that is cause for celebration and praise. I thank God for your faithful participation in the ministries of North Star through not only your time and talent, but also through your generosity. I want to encourage each of you do all that you can to remain faithful in the months and years to come because God loves not only a cheerful giver, but will also honor you as a faithful giver.
So myth – “the church is in financial peril.” Experiment – look at the information provided. Report – “the church is in great shape and poised to do ministry in this area for a long-time to come!”
I want to challenge each of us to share the good gossip – North Star is alive in God’s grace and doing well financially. Will you help me bust the myth and share the good gossip?
Blessings for the journey!