It’s nearly impossible to turn on talk radio, podcasts, or the news and not hear the economy as a top ten topic. It’s all over social media and a source of conversation at water coolers and dinner tables across the country. Everyone, including churches, is impacted by the economic downturn.
As The Church, we want to best serve our community with knowledge and hands on help. How Your Church Can Best Serve Your Community During An Economic Downturn, is a great resource for ministries to have on hand as the economy is in a constant state of fluctuation between periods of contraction and expansion. While experts can analyze financial data, when and by how much the economy will shift is still somewhat unpredictable. Our role, then, is to have a church communication plan in order to equip our congregants with sound stewardship models to benefit their families, church life, and the community.
The Gospel Coalition (TGC) explains, “The U.S. economy is the sum total of economic transactions. Why does that matter to church leaders? Because we care about the material needs of other people. The biblical standard of economic justice is that everyone has the resources needed for living. If we care about economic justice, we should care about the economy—specifically the growth of the economy—and how it affects the flourishing of our neighbors. Our primary concern with the economy, therefore, is whether it’s expanding or shrinking.”
What is an economic downturn?
According to Market Business News, “An economic downturn, or a downturn, occurs when the value of stocks, property, and commodities fall, productivity either grows more slowly or declines, and GDP (gross domestic product) shrinks, stands still or expands more slowly.”
How does an economic downturn affect congregations?
People work hard just to maintain everyday expenses in hopes that the economy will turn around soon. But they are being mindful of dollars spent and living more frugally. Priorities shift during an economic downturn. What was monetarily intended for the building fund, for example, may need to be applied differently- thus impacting automated church giving. Some may lose their jobs, or take on extra employment to fulfill household financial obligations- possibly impacting ministry volunteer positions. When you have about 30 minutes, you may want to check out this video, How The Economic Machine Works, from Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates as it breaks down the process, defines and gives examples for better understanding of it all.
How can your church best serve your community?
The word “prepare” is found in the Bible an estimated 145+ times. Yet financial preparation and savings are difficult for the majority of Americans to manage and maintain. Let’s be honest, to love and serve your neighbor you have to know them. Our goal is to help you answer the “where” and “what about” questions in your organization and community so you can:
- Identify community needs
- Make informed decisions
- Serve people strategically
- Invite community participation
- Learn from community comparisons
- Communicate your mission story
Economic data is at the forefront of our minds, as is reaching those in need both physically and spiritually. Having a basic and advanced understanding of our economy is crucial so we can take care of our house and those around us. Moving from data to decisions in our church staff meetings with action is the goal. In future blogs in this series we’ll dive into who is most impacted by the downturn in the economy. And how to connect with them as we live out Matthew 25:40.
In this guide, How Your Church Can Best Serve Your Community During An Economic Downturn, we define what inflation, bear markets, and recessions are. Who they impact and what the church can do to best serve those impacted most. We also look at unique ways to utilize MissionInsite. How to find and reach those in the community around your church who are impacted most during economic downturns. And, to make it even easier so you don’t miss any of our insightful Church Growth Resources. You can also receive our ministry blog posts straight to your inbox!
Learn to Help Your Neighbors Better During an Economic Downturn
In How Your Church Can Best Serve Your Community During an Economic Downturn, you’ll discover:
- What do terms like inflation, bear market, and recession mean, and why do they matter for your church?
- Easy strategies your church can put in place quickly to help struggling neighbors.
- Step-by-step instructions about using MissionInsite to find and serve those in your community most harmed by economic downturns.
David joined ACS Technologies in September of 2021 as the Director of Financial Planning and Analysis. He has over 15 years of experience in finance and equity research, financial planning, corporate development and strategy to drive growth and efficiency. He previously worked for HighRadius, Bristow Group, Clarksons, and CGGVeritas. David enjoys time with his family and participates in various roles at his church.