A Spiritual Recovery

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Today, we are faced with a terrifying financial crisis in both domestic and global financial markets. The economy is in dire straits according to leading economists. We are experiencing record foreclosures, bankruptcies and unemployment. Our gross domestic product is in steep decline.

A simple equation of prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness will help forge our way through any financial or spiritual recession to recovery.

Gross domestic product (GDP) refers to all the goods and services produced by workers at companies located in the United States. Sadly, the gross domestic product for the United States and many of the developed nations throughout the world, has experienced at least two consecutive quarters of decline. Those declines mean we are in a financial recession.

The lingering economic woes, centered around the lack of faith and confidence in the financial markets, are hindering a recovery. Yes, faith. “Faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the substance of things not seen.”

There is a parallel between our economy and our churches. For more than two consecutive quarters, many of our churches have been in a deep recession. Again, it is a contraction or shrinkage in GDP. I have coined a new meaning for GDP as it relates to churches. GDP stands for God’s Discipleship Production. Unfortunately, a number of our churches have fallen into a spiritual recession.

The formula for God’s Discipleship Production lies within a simple equation of: prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. That simple spirit-filled equation will help forge our way through any financial or spiritual recession to recovery.

Many of the issues and challenges that we are faced with in our economy and our church will be resolved over time, but what will we have learned in the process? Apostle Paul, in his letter to Timothy in chapter 6, shares sound wisdom for the business world and Christ’s church, for any economic period. In I Timothy 6:18, Paul states it profoundly with faith, “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share.” If we decide to do those few things with our whole heart, we would experience a sound spiritual recovery of church, nation and world.

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About Author

Melvin Amerson is Senior Area Representative and Resource Specialist with the Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF)and author of Stewardship in African American Churches and co-author of Fruit for Celebrating the Offering (both from Discipleship Resources). He is also a board member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center.


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