Back to the Basics: How to Recession-Proof Your Finances

By on June 1, 2009   /   Leave a comment

Well, the title is a misnomer. We never totally “recession-proof” anything. I’m sure Job felt very safe and secure until disaster wiped him out. In fact, if I get arrogant about how “recession-proof” my finances are, I might find the God I’m supposedly serving actually opposing me! 1 Peter 5:5b: “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Hmmm…God vs. my so-called financial “security?” God wins every time!

If one ditch is pride, the other one is denial. Some Christian workers don’t attempt to understand or track with the national economy, financial trends, or even personal money management. Is it a waste of time or unspiritual to do so? Yes, we can turn our backs on the world of finance and proclaim ourselves “holy ones,” choosing not to “soil our hands with filthy lucre,” but down the road, we may wish we had paid a tad more attention.

Whether or not these tough economic times have impacted your level of support or financial stability, why not view it as a “wake-up call” from God to build a strong, healthy, long-term support team and financial base? But there are no magic formulas to help you weather the future ups and downs of our economy. All I have to offer you are the old-fashioned, tried and true basics:

1. Let’s get Biblical

When my wife and I were in a wreck in Mexico 20 years ago, we incurred insurmountable medical bills and our finances went into a tail spin. We went back to the Scriptures to see what God taught about the absolute necessity of us giving sacrificially, destroying debt, saving, and investing regularly. We chose to obey and make radical changes in our thinking and finances. The Lord honored it and rescued us. As a result, God led us to adopt the pattern of Joseph who stored up for seven years to prepare for future years of drought. We copied the ant in Proverbs who worked hard when he had the chance in order to have provisions in season and out. The Bible is amazingly practical about many things—including money!

2. Let’s get Personal

If you haven’t already, go back to EVERY single person who supports you and meet with them face-to-face. Heart-to-heart, review with them the vision God has given you and thank them so much for being willing to invest some of their strategic giving dollars in you and your ministry. Let them know how critical they are as ministry partners and how you’re going to do a better job of communicating with them. Right then and there, pray for them, their family, and any other concerns they have. This face-to-face approach creates an “expectations exchange” they will never forget, whereby they committed to you and you committed to them. You’ll probably be the last place they reduce their giving when the economy tanks again and cutbacks are required.

3. Let’s get Missional

If supporters sense that being fully funded is more important to you than fulfilling the Great Commission, they’ll not stay on your team very long. They want to know your heart and eyes are fixed on the person and purposes of Jesus Christ and that you are working just as hard as they are (in their secular jobs) to bring about eternal change in the lives of people. Thus, your days (and your newsletters!) need to be full of tangible ministry activities—and results—letting your supporters know their giving is making a real difference. These “success” stories will re-energize their commitment.


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