By the thousands, Christian congregations are struggling to fulfill their mission these days. Programs and important outreach efforts are flagging for lack of volunteers or paid staff to accomplish worthy visions. Church buildings in dire need of routine maintenance or retrofitting to accommodate sisters and brothers who are physically challenged continue to deteriorate. Many pastors are grossly underpaid.
Financially strapped seminaries and colleges are forced to raise tuitions, sending out our graduates with staggering indebtedness. The times are increasingly difficult for millions of families—with costs of gas, bread and many other basics far outpacing meager salary or pension increases.
Faced with all these challenges, congregational leaders can respond in one of two ways. We can operate out of a theology of scarcity—counting on little, asking apologetically or not at all. Or we can lead out of a theology of abundance—confident in God’s promises that collectively we have all we need and then some.
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© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers