By Michael Olmsted
In a time when the scariest Halloween visions are supplanted by even more frightening plunges of our financial markets, what are we to do? Our government talks of bailing out Wall Street and shoring up the banking system, but our investments and retirement accounts are taking a terrible beating. We are too much like Washington Irving’s image of Ichabod Crane being pursued by the headless horseman!
Two weeks ago I sought the advice of a very successful investment broker friend. My concern was not so much personal (my investments are small change compared to others), but what should those of us do who are involved with budgets of churches and ministry organizations? How should we deal with this downturn and talk of recession?
My friend offered three suggestions:
First, do not panic. Instead, look at your resources to be sure they are diversified, make sure you have necessary cash reserves and be patient. The trends will change; they always do.
Second, examine your budget and make adjustments where you can. Revisit your priorities. Plan carefully and conservatively for the next year(s). The idea is to continue operating in a responsible manner.
Third, plan for the future. This is no time to shut down your thinking or abandon your goals. Life is full of unseen circumstances and situations beyond your control. Only those who look ahead with anticipation and planning will come out successfully.
Sound words from a purely business perspective? Faith is never detached from the realities of life. Which brings me to someone else’s sound words of encouragement and advice, in 2 Thessalonians 3:16, “…Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all.”
May the powerful presence of Christ undergird the wise decisions you make in the uncertain days.
Michael Olmsted is interim pastor of Second Baptist Church of Liberty and a Word&Way trustee.