“We get very confused between God’s economy and the world’s economy. In the world’s economy, there’s never enough, and when you’re asking for money, you’re taking something. In God’s economy, there’s always enough.” This is from my interview a while back with Howard Anderson, rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Pacific Palisades, California. I keep thinking about this, and reminding myself that we don’t have to be afraid there will not be enough, ultimately.
It’s important to bring our faith to bear on our thinking about the economy. I’ve just started reading a book which Howard recommended by M. Douglas Meeks called God the Economist. In the introduction, he calls for “a more faithful and imaginative wrestling by the church with the massive economic questions of our time.”
I’m not a theologian, although I look forward to reading the rest of the book by someone who appears to be an excellent one. Nor am I an economist. But I wonder whether garden-variety ministry practitioners like myself might wrestle more “faithfully and imaginatively” with the down-to-earth economic issues we face every day.
Some questions that come to mind:
- What is the best and most faithful use of my limited life energy, both the energy that I exchange for money and the energy that I don’t?
- How can I and my own local congregation move beyond fear as we make decisions about the use of our resources?
- How I can I engage with money and with the economy, as I do daily, in a way that recognizes God’s reign in my life and the world?
- How can I lead others to do the same?