Retooling: Can Budget Battles Affect The Church?


The 21st Century Retooling of the Church – Part XXXII

The evening news tonight shifted from unrest and protests against dictators in the Middle East to unrest and protests in Wisconsin and Washington over up coming budget battles that could cripple Federal and State governments.  With all these budget cuts, particularly of public services, how will the 21st Century church respond?

Will a shift occur away from the expectancy that the government will take care of us to looking to the Church for support?  The public is rebelling about having to pay for services while still expecting them.  I know in Central Pennsylvania the mindset exists that service oriented professions should “sacrifice” for the public good, thus salaries for public service jobs have always been quite a bit lower than the national average.  The public still wants the services, but wants the providers to “sacrifice” rather than paying for it.

I would not be surprised if the public begins to look to the Church to “sacrifice” their services to meet their needs and wants. Will the Church be asked to respond through more food banks, rescue missions, counseling services, community service projects, programs, etc.?  Will people in a confused, restless society look to the Church for tranquility, peace, and safety as it has in past history? 

This whole “Retooling” series began with the layoffs of Harley Davidson, the retooling of that company, turning it from the brink of financial ruin to a profitable business.  Now with budget cuts, even church staffs are being laid off and cut backed, yet parishioners are still expecting the same services.  How is the church to react to this challenge that affects its internal structure and the world about it?  If there was ever a time for the evangelical spirit to arise, the pastoral spirit to reach out, the practical teaching spirit to be released, and the prophetic spirit to move, with the oversight from the apostolic spirit, it is now!  But to have these spirits, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ to arise, reach out, be released, move, and provide over sight, then the church will need retooling on how it thinks, the mindsets it harbors, and the way it does business, oops, I mean the way it does church.  If there has ever been a time for the church to re-examine the five fold and its possibilities and potentials, it is now, in the 21st Century.