The DEBT! The BUDGET! The POOR! The CHURCH!
Emotions flare easily when we are talking about the places where the country's budget could really hurt us. Or people we care about. It's complex, yes, but deacons can help the dialog as well as the decisions to be Christ-like.
Amidst the turmoil about the national debt, the budget, and the political process to address the situation, Christians and Christian organizations are weighing in too - probably more than usual. One of the most important dimensions of the budget conversation is its impact on the poor and the weak. Surely that’s an area of passionate concern for Christians and the Church!
I have Jesus-following friends who disagree – strongly – about what the budget should look like. I have conflicting convictions within myself! And I’m struck that the word “sacrifice” is turning up so often. Sacrifice is a religious word! Maybe that’s why these Christian organizations familiar to many of us have issued a statement.
Not all Christians agree. Check this site for one example.
What’s a deacon to do?
The national budget moment has powerful stewardship dimensions. Surely it’s a worthy goal to learn as much as possible about the issues, and to the best of our ability help conversations stay rational, calm, and helpful.
I wonder about convening some evening coffee conversations where members of the congregation can discuss together, learn together, hone each other’s understanding, and maybe go home grateful for faithful friends who care as much as we do about how to be Kingdom citizens. There are certainly a lot of discipleship issues to be discussed when we are making budgets!
But how is this a diaconal matter? Well, I’m wondering…. Does this national conversation have echoes in our churches? In our families? Should it? Are there implications for how we make OUR budgets? And what about our families? Is there an opportunity here for some fresh conversation about family spending patterns? Can we talk about the choices we make with our money, and the expectations we have for the money we spend on charity? Where has the church spent benevolent money that really had the result we hoped for? What can we learn from that? How are we shaping our family lives and our congregational lives in ways that address need in truly Christ-like ways?
I would like to hear what your deacons are doing to help shape budget questions in radically Christ-like ways.