Monday, March 30, 2009

Money, Money, Money

Every Monday morning, I sit down at my desk, usually a bit tired from Sunday, and I make a list of a few things I need to plan for or work toward for the week. The very first thing I put on my list is: PRAY, DO NOT BE ANXIOUS. I put that first on my list because I am prone to be anxious and I am prone to pray when I'm panicking. Are you like this?

I'm sure that you're more zealous about your own prayer life than to allow something like bad news or troublesome news bother you. But, I'm the Senior pastor of a large church and we were running along just fine, doing well, when the bottom fell out of the economy. It is hitting us far more than I suspected that it would. And, just when you think things might be turning around a bit, economically, bad news comes back around to take its toll.

On the one hand, I'm surprised we're doing as well as we are financially. I know personally of at least ten people, breadwinners, who are out of work- laid off for one reason or another. Some of these are tithers. I feel for the church but I also feel for the families who are going through this. Yes, things will get better, but when? Some are hanging on by a thread.

On the other hand, some people are still working and attendance is up. We get regular visitors who become a part of this great church and join at some point. Things are going in the right direction.(You'll tell me if they are not, right?) There is so much for which to be grateful.

I put the PRAY AND DO NOT BE ANXIOUS first on my list to remind me that the answer is prayer not anxiety. NO matter how anxious I get or you get, it won't change anything. My experience tells me that things will turn around and if not, we have to adapt. That's just the way it is.

Being anxious is not the answer; panic is not the answer. It only drives up your blood pressure. So, we pray, and we do the best we can with what we have. We patiently wait, and work this out together- together with God's help.

Honestly, I've served churches where we had to overcome much greater financial obstacles than these. We will overcome these obstacles too. I refuse to get discouraged. "I/We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength." Amen?

Blessings!
Dave Nichols

3 comments:

  1. Just wanted to tell you I really enjoy your commentary and hope you keep it going. I look forward to reading your thoughts. And a big AMEN to all things are possible through HIM!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love you daddy. From your anxious daughter in this uncertain time (especially financially), your words speak straight to me and help me to relax and remember why I can. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. From your first daughter-
    In financially uncertain times, it helps to read your words (which help me to hear your voice). I love you daddy.
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete

Welcome

Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.
Blessings!
Dave

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About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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