Friday, December 11, 2009

To Invest or To Tighten

Life's so much fun with all the decision making ability given to us by God. For Christians, it's known as the "free will" though some would argue otherwise.

From people to organisations, countries to churches, we all have learn to make the best & right decisions. This of course includes financial decisions, which is quite an exciting challenge!

As a Malaysian Chinese, we're often taught to be thrifty, to save as much as you can and only start to spend it when you have a comfort "buffer". In another words, it's to tigthen up to survive.

After spending a decade in Melbourne, I come to regconize the pattern of Caucasians governance in some sense. It's very obvious during the GFC, most of the governments adopted the strategy of investing for growth.

Stimulus packages, grants, tax reliefs, etc. All are aimed towards futures prosperity and not just the short term.

So, it's a little culture shock when we started to see the governments spending like crazy in times of crisis! Billions are poured in multiple industries just to keep it going while from our background, we would have been cutting expenses as much as we can.

Having said that, they also did some costs cutting measures to keep the ball rolling. Even with billions spent, without proper restructuring, it wouldn't last as well. Billions would end up like cents!

So, as a church, what can we learn from this GFC?

We need to continue to invest into the future by laying out plans and goals for the short, medium and long terms. Then we can work out budget around it to achieve those plans. By injecting the proper resources (human, funds, etc) into the right ministry will help the church to continue to grow.

At the same time, we need to evaluate on our current ministries. Which ministries that we can afford to temporary lay off or shut down. There's a saying, "All things are good, but not all things are right".

By properly channelling our resources, we can ensure greater works being done in the church ministries. These are the core ministries that our church can never neglect. These are:
1) Mission & Evangelism
2) Christian Education
3) Small Groups
4) Prayer

If we're not investing more resources in those core ministries, I'd like to know what else could be more important? Day-to-day church admins? Spending on technologies & equipments?

I know some might say, "let's get our books balance first then we can plan" or the ever famous "we will wait for God Himself to lead".

Let us remind ourselves that, God has initiated His works. Are we spiritually sensitive enough to feel it or how are we going to respond? keep on waiting?

I have a funny feeling that our belts are too tight now. Perhaps we should increase our belt size and start to invest on what's right? Let's not choke ourselves to death!