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« Local Mission or Denominational Support - An unresolvable tension | Main | Is it possible to change without changing? Reflections on worship »

August 15, 2006

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Ed Brenegar

I know your post wasn't about men being bored. It is about money. Part of the reason that many men are boring is that they are fixated on money and what money can do. Because it is our primary measure in business, it gets translated as the same for the church. I conducted a strategic planning process for a local government that had never had a plan beyond the budget. That mean the finance director of the county dictated to a large degree how each department was run. Now he was a very collaborative person, so it was not a problem from that standpoint. It did mean that they lacked perspective, and were not able to see how to make changes that could be made to make their agencies more responsive to constituents. One of the results was a dramatic and radical change in how taxes were levied. The result was a more equitable taxation system. And it took shifting from a planning process that was only budgetary to one that was visionary by looking at how are they were impacting their constituents that made this significant change possible.
The problem with the critique of money in the church is that we want to treat it as simply a dualistic moral issue. Money is good or bad, period. Don’t be greedy. Be sacrificial. It forces people into being dishonest. At church they talk about sacrifice and stewardship, yet their spending habits show something quite the opposite. The challenge is to neutralize the dualistic side of it, and shift the attention to the large, more important issue of calling, mission and then stewardship. Money needs to be seen as a tool. It is a tool that is really valuable after relationships are formed. Though I don’t have any specific figures to demonstrate this, but my sense is that where churches and businesses have thrown money at issues without solid, healthy relationships being formed, that those efforts have been unsustainable. Our short term thinking about money makes it difficult to look at the long-term issues of investment. When we can start talking in this way, we begin to have a way to deal with the more personal aspects of money. It allows us to address personal calling and purpose for impact in life. Thank you for your blog post and your comment.

DLE

Ed,

Thanks so much for the link to my post at Cerulean Sanctum.

My post isn't about men being bored, though. It's about choosing money over ministry. If men are bored in church, it's partly for this reason, but that's not the whole of what I'm saying.

Blessings on your blogging.

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