“…and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice….” –Micah 6:8
I have often heard it said that the first thing to be cut when a church’s budget is tight is missions. While I haven’t done any systematic research on the subject (actually not much I do is systematic), I have heard enough stories to believe in the truth of the statement.
Mission budgets are easy targets because to cut them, initially at least, doesn’t impact the life of the church all that much. You can cut the mission budget and the choir will still sing – the minister will still preach – Sunday school teachers will still teach – the lawn will still get cut – the pews will still be uncomfortable.
But do missions really have to be cut even if we have less money to spend on them? When did doing missions become so closely tied to writing checks? Doesn’t doing justice involve more than divvying up a mission budget?
Yes it is true that mission budgets get hit early in hard financial times. And there is an impact to those cuts, even if we can’t initially see it. But to cut the mission budget should not mean that we are cutting doing missions. But does it?
by Peter Wells
Consultant – Center for Progressive Renewal