Money (May/June/July 2009)

Just months after the economic collapse of October 2008, how can the church best address the financial issues faced by the congregation, its people, and the poorest of the poor? This issue responds to questions about changing stewardship practices, ministering to families in debt, promoting economic development in poor neighborhoods, responding when the church is defrauded, and more.

In This Issue

Money — That's What We Want?

Money — That's What We Want?

By
Neil M. Alexander
The Beatles recorded a popular song called “Money (That's What I Want).” It started out with the old adage “The best things in life are free,” then moved…
Thinking Beyond Ourselves in Hard Times

Thinking Beyond Ourselves in Hard Times

By
Donald Shriver
In a Sojourners review of the book, Passing the Plate: Why American Christians Don't Give Away More Money (Oxford, 2008), Duke professor Dana Trent remarks that “most U.S…
Preaching on Money

Preaching on Money

By
Bruce L. Emmert
Walking into the pulpit to ask our congregation to give while assuming that people do not want to give is a bit like a young man beginning his proposal of marriage with the words…
The City of God: Standing Strong When the World Crumbles

The City of God: Standing Strong When the World Crumbles

By
Charles Ensminger
It's no secret that for the past several months, Americans have felt immense fear and anxiety when it comes to our economy. Our nation—perhaps even our world—is coming …
Disabling Debt

Disabling Debt

By
Jenna Heart
Consumer debt, credit card debt, disabling medical bills, as well as loss of homes and jobs can create a kind of economic bondage. Many live paycheck to paycheck with no…
Promoting Economic Development: Empowering the Church to Empower the Community

Promoting Economic Development: Empowering the Church to Empower the Community

By
Derek Jacobs
Every day when we turn on the news, look on the Internet, or open the newspaper, we are finding discouraging news about our economy. To be more specific, we are seeing an alarming …
Giving in a Paperless Society

Giving in a Paperless Society

By
Jeff Brinkman
When I was twelve years old, my parents gave me an AM transistor radio for Christmas. I used to fall asleep at night listening to the play by play announcer for the new expansion…
"Why Do We Pay Apportionments, Again?"

"Why Do We Pay Apportionments, Again?"

By
Bob McKibben
It's a common question in United Methodist churches, posed by many a congregant to his or her pastor: “Why do we pay apportionments, again?” Many local congregations…
Wesley on Money

Wesley on Money

By
Sondra Wheeler
John Wesley's sermon on “The Use of Money” is popular because it takes up a text that has confused and embarrassed the church for centuries, the Parable of the Unjust…
When The Church is The Victim: A Pastoral Response to Financial Indiscretion

When The Church is The Victim: A Pastoral Response to Financial Indiscretion

By
Jodi McCullough
She fully intended to pay it all back. “Elizabeth” even tried to keep track of how much she was “borrowing” from the collection plate. Still, the treasurer …