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Church Leadership hmm... thoughts stocks

Things are looking up

You want this chart to keep going up

It may not look like it yet where you live, but there are signs of life in America that things are looking better.

As the chart above shows- stocks have been rebounding for basically 12 months.

You want this chart to start going down

The unemployment rate, while still horribly high, has begun to turn… following the comeback of Wall Street.

As church folk, we know that these two charts are closely tied to people’s ability/willingness to give. When people feel good about their money [and 401k, and for retirees, their investments] than they become more generous. Once unemployment starts to turn, then happy times should come in the offering plate… and begin trickling into staff dollars and budgets.

The upside of 2009’s double crotch kick

Let me explain what I mean by the double crotch kick.

First, going into 2008-2009 pretty much every church in the country was re-evaluating and re-thinking how they do ministry. This was a crotch kick as we all wrestled through the realities that our ministries probably need to change significantly to adapt to culture faster and reach more people.

Second, 2008-2009 were rough years financially. While not in every single church, most churches saw a dip in contributions. This was a swift kick to the groin because you either had to cut staff or cut programming (or sell assets at the bottom of the market) to balance the budget.

The upside, just like in real life, is that getting kicked in the crotch twice in a row causes most people to wise up and get ready to fight.

As I talk to ministry people all over, almost universally they have come through 2008-2009 with a new sense of calling and determination.

While the signs of life haven’t trickled into every corner of the church just yet. It is awesome to report that there are signs (more than the two economic ones I’ve shown here) that things are truly looking up.

May we take to heart lessons learned in the hard times. And may we never again need to get kicked in the crotch twice to be awoken from our slumber.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

One reply on “Things are looking up”

In my macroecon class the other day, we discussed how even after economies make a comeback, unemployment rates continue to fall. This is because people who had given up looking for a job (because they felt that it was useless) are considered to be “off the market” by those who make the stats. As the economy recovers, more people start looking for work, which means that more people are counted as “on the market” for a job – which means that the actual unemployment “rate” will rise, even after the economy recovers. The actual numbers are more difficult to gauge.

That aside, I hope that you are right, and that churches will be better off for having to aggressively trim budgets and revise strategies.

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