You can’t go anywhere these days without hearing or seeing something about the economy. I’m no economist so I don’t know if we’re in a recession or not–or what the national implications will be from higher gas or food prices. I do know, though, that my family is tightening our belts and bargain shopping a lot more. So we’re feeling the pinch!
What does a tougher economy mean for the church? I’ve heard of numerous people losing their jobs because budgets are tight so programs/staff are being cut. My heart goes out to those who are experiencing this disruption in their lives.
I’ve also heard that some "experts" are saying people may stop going to church altogether because of the high price of gas. Or that they might just choose a church closer to home instead of driving an hour to the "star" church they’ve been attending.
And perhaps I’m being cold, but I mean, give me a break! If people are going to stop coming to church because gas is too high, what are we as Christians coming to? Perhaps God is at work refining his church so that the truly committed remain. I wonder what could happen if a committed core of believers remains in the church and sets the world on fire. Maybe, just maybe, the high cost of gasoline is the fuel to ignite that fire.
And as far as families deciding to go to church locally instead of driving to the "star" church, I say "alright!" "Church" is so much more than just the weekly service. It’s the community of believers during the week who fellowship with one another, serve together, and shine as the light in their community–that’s hard to do from a distance. Could this be a refining fire from God to strengthen smaller, local bodies of Christ with the believers in their area getting plugged in right where they live? (It costs nothing to walk to the nearby church.)
So, maybe the recession–or whatever it is–is a good thing for the church? What do you think?