I am horrible when it comes to finances.  I bought a car just out of grad school when I should have waited until I had built up more of an emergency fund.  Now I have no emergency fund. 🙁

I also like shopping.  There was a time when Lauren Short and I went shopping so much my credit card ended up in Cara Scriven’s freezer for awhile (although I will say much of the money spent was on those adorable twins)…I might need to learn some sales resistance.

I would be horrible if I was put in charge of a large amount of money like the UMC budget.

Now even though I am horrible with money, I am a little perplexed by the finance news I heard yesterday.  And not because I don’t understand finances; I actually don’t think it has anything to do with finances.  This is a social issue.

Here’s what I gathered from Craig’s post Saturday:  The old way of doing things is that we paid proportionally into one pot and our bishops were paid out of that pot.  This meant that areas that were more ‘churched’ tended to spend more money per conference than areas like ours.  The new way of doing things is less connectional, where every conference pays the same amount of money.

What confuses me is that we are moving away from being connectional, into a ‘silo’ form of finances (and yes I used the word silo purposely for those who caught it).

This will be great for conferences and jurisdictions that have more members and more money; this will suck for us.  Yet even if I don’t think of it personally I still don’t agree with this.

This area of the country does have less members, less money, and less ‘churched’ people.  Does that mean we take away money used for changing that?  It’s like the government saying to a school “you are doing a bad job so we’re taking away all your money until you can prove you can do a good job.”  Yes I see that working (sarcastic voice).  Or like a church who cannot afford a full-time pastor anymore.  They move to a 3/4 time or 1/2 time pastor and then are perplexed when the church shrinks or even closes.  What do you expect to happen (please note I’m not saying that is always going to happen if a church moves to a less-than-full-time pastor)?

The only thing this financial change will accomplish is to provide less money for areas that are in great need.  It feels to me like this goes against the mission of the church, and that angers me.

Maybe I’m being too socially-minded.  The economy is in a tough place right now.  I get that.  People are losing their jobs left and right.  No one is above feeling the pain of the economy.  But really is that where we need to be focused?  I almost feel like this is a reactionary response.  Stop panicking people!  Focus on the mission.  Make disciples of Jesus Christ to Transform the World.  The world is our mission field, and this non-connectional way of thinking isn’t going to help our mission at all.

Photo Credit: Flickr user epSos.ed, Creative Commons.

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