Friday, October 25, 2013

Don't Get Picked Off!

In honor of the World Series I thought I would use the baseball analogy as a title to show the real crisis facing America in the coming months with Healthcare.  Join me on a journey that highlights how many Americans are getting picked off by the politics with Healthcare and are actually going to be out as a result.

Delay it!
The law has already been incrementally implemented.  Insurance companies have already trashed the old and created the new, with higher premiums.  Delaying the penalty does not fix the problem!

Stop the Government from being in the Insurance Business!
Wait - they already do with medicare. Yet with the ACA they are not.  Insurance companies are the ones that people are to buy insurance from.  Problem, no one can afford it nor can they get access to it.  So what happens when the Insurance companies are not getting their premiums from over 65% of the people come January 1?  How long can they operate paying claims with such a great loss of premiums.  My simple math says it will exceed a shortfall of over $350 Billion in the first quarter of 2014.  Where will the money come from to pay claims?

We can just go back!
Go back to what? Politicians need to come clean and tell the truth that the old system is gone.  They might also want to admit that they have NO idea what to do with the real problem come March 2014 - no money in the system to pay claims!

Throw them all out of office!
OK, but who has a solution? This is a total change of the America you and I have known and there is NO going back.  Any solution will require Government intervention and controls for some time.  It is remember, 1/3 of our total economy.  It is not going to be a simple solution!

So what do we do?
That is a great question!  I am afraid that no one knows!  And that my friends is the real issue!  Our politicians and leaders have let us down. They walked away from or pushed this mess on us.  Both parties have sold us out.  They push their spin and continue raising money knowing that NO solutions are on the horizon.  They just want to get re-elected.

Do you trust them?
The polls say neither party is getting a pass.  Just wait until the above scenarios happen, and they will.  Who will you trust to fix the solution and what form of Government will it take to straighten out the mess?

One thing I do know.  I am seeing more clearly how anti-Christ will rise to power and the messes that will pave the way for his rise.  Desperation is growing daily.  Problem is, few are looking to God.  Funny how the one person who can help us is the one not being relied upon!

Remember, DON"T GET PICKED OFF!  The pitcher in this ballgame is more sneaky than the Red Socks pitcher using a foreign substance the other night in the World Series!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Budget time for churches...

Every Pastor and staff love the budget planning time of the year.  You know you love it.  Come on, tell me you love it!  OK, enough of that.  We endure it - right? Right!  This year the process is a bit more difficult than normal.  Money is tight everywhere.  Costs are rising on everything.  And then there is the good ol health care issue.  Here are some tips at getting through the planning this year with less stress than you thought.

1.  Keep the vision alive! Reducing vision is a receipts killer.  Even in a tough economy. People give to vision. People need to see, hear and experience vision.  Now is not the time to shrink vision.  Instead, sharpen your vision.  Stage your vision.  Just do not kill your vision!

2.  Focus on Stewardship! Often church budgets contain poor stewardship. Be smart in every area. There is a difference in being steward compared to being tight! Evaluate, prioritize, and see what you can do as a better cooperate steward. It is time to get rid of all the "golden calves" in our budgets and think, plan, and operate as stewards.

3.  Share the process! Talk from the pulpit with your people about all the areas that your team are considering and the goal of your church being a good steward in the budget process. Get creative. it will help your people understand and buy in to what your team will present.

4.  Keep it Biblical! Ministry and missions are the Biblical reason we exist. Make sure you continue to fund these.

5.  Avoid fads!  Stick to your vision. My staff came up with the phrase "Don't get distracted!". Staying focused on the vision God has given will take you a long way down the road toward being a steward church.

6.  Keep the faith factor!  When times are tough it is easy to turn to human ability.  We forget that faith is the Christian life.  It should also be the life of a steward church.  Don't go crazy!  But don't forget about faith! Call your people to take steps of faith!

7.  Know your banker!  It all belongs to God.  He will provide. We may have to improvise but God will bring us through!

8.  Reduce debt! Even in tough times, reducing debt builds confidence in your people. Show them it can be done! Challenge them to step up and help make it happen.  Include the benefits for every ministry in your church.

9.  Breathe and press on! Take a deep breathe. It is not as bad as it seems. Keep moving forward and watch God work.  He is good at it! It is His church!