We’re now caught in that strange black hole where time stands still – the week between Christmas and New Year.  That week always directs my thoughts to turning the page, looking ahead, preparing for the next challenge.

One of the observations I’ve made on human nature over the years is that people choose either to experience one of two discomforts:  debt or making do with less.  We are most likely going to be faced with this choice as a church in 2023.

We’ve got a beautiful building but it’s twenty years old, and things are starting to require attention.
Two of our air conditioning units have failed, and they no longer make these units.  Within the next few years the roof on the main building will need to be replaced.  We need more parking.
We’re running out of classroom space in some of our children’s ministries.
We needed to hire probably two or three additional staff – yesterday.

Our congregation is wonderfully generous, but the economy is pushing prices for all of these things through the roof and quick and easy solutions to all of these challenges are not presenting themselves.  So that means we’ll be looking at more difficult solutions.

I was raised to choose making do with less over debt.  To put up with discomfort and inconvenience.  Until we got into the new building that’s how I led our church.  Lots of people made lots of sacrifices to get us to where we are now.

We took on manageable debt for the new building and then for the additional educational wing.  As we grew in the new building, we spent money on a better sound system and better furnishings and technology to make ministry more efficient.  Spending money was a new thing for me, but I learned that to everything there is a season.  Our board was not extravagant and made wise choices that kept moving the ministry forward.

I believe that, barring a change in the national economy or the miraculous appearance of millions of dollars, we are going to find ourselves once again in a season of making do with less.  We may have to think outside the box and exercise a little creativity – but often that is where the Spirit of God does His best work.  Are you up to the challenge?