Economic Development within our Church : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

As it appears many feel our Church is going through a financial crises both now and in the near future. Are there any ideas of economic empowerment we may have not tried or overlooked. Are we tithing as we should? Are we giving first fruit as well as bringing someone else to Church?

No complicated proposals will be overlooked! Thank you should you choose to answer. I pray that we will all be sustained through these recessionary times by Jesus love and power>

God Bless You All

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002


Hi Nalton:

I will respond to your topic in the same manner I would to officials from The UN, World Bank, IMF or US State Department. Everything starts with how development is defined and specifically what is hoped to be accomplished. Next, we must implement the operational concept of S.W.O.T., an acronymn which represents "Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats". SWOT functions as the basic strategy used to reach a targeted development goal. If economic development is a goal for the AMEC we must be crystal clear what the term means, how the objective can be measured and determine the technical feasiblity to reach the goal. For example, let's assume that local job creation for unemployed and underemployed inner city residents is our "development goal". No one disputes the noble intent of such a goal although the feasibility may require some adjustment in our collective expectations. Are we seeking job creation for those who are out of work but desire to work or are we seeking to create jobs for anyone who is not working. This is a non-trivial distinction with enormous fiscal implications. Second, are we looking to create "good-paying jobs" or merely jobs which allow individuals to move from the state of being public paupers to productive workers. Precision in our definition will avoid ambiguity of this type. Finally, we must have an executable plan to reach our goal. By knowing our assets, limitations, opportunites and competing alternatives, we are in a much better position to avoid duplication of services and make use for a better use of our scarce resources. I apologize if this reponse is a tad bit didactic, but then again this is what I "do for a living". I suppose I am who I am :-) QED

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Brother Bill,

Am I getting the picture when I say that what's needed is an assessment of needs then based on that assessment, we develop a plan to meet those needs?

I realize that S.W.O.T. goes into much more detail, but do I have the basic idea? Can you help me with an assessment of a need that we're experiencing at our church? What would be my first step if I wanted to reach a targeted audience to provide not just "a job". I am so glad this came up. Our missionary society has a desire to "adopt" a family that has those kinds of needs "job, day care, medical,etc." would that kind of economic empowerment be within this scope? I know that you all are talking on a larger scale, but can this kind of concept be used in the way I mentioned? Help me out, Bill and all others who can give some input into this fascinating field of economics.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

The answer is clear and sure and it is found Mal.3:8-11

If every saint that is a member of a church consistantly pay their tithes and offerings, then we would not need an economic plan from the goverment or any source. God said to prove me now

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Brother Brangman,

I hope that God will bless the ground that you walk on for raising this question again!!! Several months ago, brother Matthews and brother Dickens proposed an economic plan that I considered to be quite feasible. I encourage them to re-state it during this discussion.

As a new member of the AME church, I understand that every institution has its own set of politics. I also understand from reading my Discipline 2000-2004 that the budget of this international organization of 3.5 million people is only about 10 million a year. I am amazed that the AME church can even pay its full time staff, operate offices, and meet the other expenses of travel with that paltry revenue. Let's face it, you cannot run a fulltime organization with volunteers and part time staff.

I also find it frustrating that we don't have a national address I can make a donation to for the purpose of scholarships, endowments, or any other charitable activity. An institution like the AME church needs money to conduct the work of the Lord. It is a corporation and shouldn't it be able to build churches all over this world and guarantee ministers and missionaries salaries while they are teaching and preaching the gospel.

I am excited about the great potential of this church. Quite frankly, I consider this church to be the "talented tenth" and if anything is going to happen, it's going to happen here. When I consider all the wealth of learned individuals in this organization who could be organized into a think tank to address our problems yet this precious resource goes untapped, I find it frustrating. Thanks again for your question.


-- Anonymous, February 20, 2002

You have such good ideas. Why don't you organize a public corporation, profitmaking of course, and take advantage of this that apparently rejected by the AME Church?

Be Blessed, pastor paris

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2002

Bro. Dickens First Thank you for your response. It appears I have overly complicated my intention. Jazz Man does speak to part of my question. There are many fragmented programs run from various Churches for "Inner City" youth and feeding programs. My question is should we not have this portion of Mission outreach better defined and run through a central base? Our expansion of Seminary Education should also be consolidated for more effective results. Jazz Man is right. How do we really run such a denomination on such small sums. The answer is, we don't. If you thought the massive increases in District Assessments in 2000 were bad wait till 2004. We will have to support 7 newly retired Bishops and 7 newly consecrated Bishops. The cost for salaries alone is in access of half a million dollars. And if you believe any Bishop is living off $54,000/year I'll be more than a little surprised.We have had many posts of how seminary students don't get enough financial support and the list goes on.

Pastor Paris I am pleased to advise you that we have in fact created a "for Profit" Corporation within the Church. Once we receive our last component from the connection we hope, by the grace of God , to be engaged in the economic redevelopment of our denomination and the expansion of both internal and external Mission Development both within the United States and overseas. Bro JazzMan once this is completed I will provide you with not only the address of the company and an account to put your pledge in. I will provide you regular reports on what the money is going towards.

Brothers and Sisters I solicit your prayers as Accountant, Lawyers, Doctors, Teachers, Preachers, Laity of this great Church. We must be ever vigilant in seeking new ways to do God's work better. May God richly bless you is my prayer.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2002

I'm reading everything that each individual has stated about economic empowerment for our church. Are you talking about the local or all church's. It seems we do have the empowerment but money is being demanded the wrong way and given for the wrong reason. I ask God all the time why we raise this type of money and can't see anything happening for the church itself. Someone had told me that the General Church is poor, is this true?

Thanks for letting me put this info in.

Prayerfully Submitted,

--Margaret Riley (

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2002

In my humble opinion, there is no room in the body of Christ for "Economic Development". The church and its ministries are to be supported by Tithes and Offerings. WE talk about seperation of church and state when Jesus said that we ought not to make allies of foolish mammon. He said we should build those things which are eternal, making disciples of others, etc. A good business based on sound business principles does not need the church to become a reality. I hear so many talking about the churc ought to engage in economic development, yet they themselves don't have a pot to ....... or a window to throw it out. They ask the church toi take risks with its funds that they won't take with their own money. This is what I suggest toi this crowd: Do a Bill Gates and then you bail the church out. The founders of Ebony, BET, JET, and thousands of other Black Business did not sit around talking about what the church should do, they did it themselves. Go thou and do likewise.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2002

Tithing (obedience) + holy living (removing the curse) + being a steward (managing well) + prayer (ask and you shall receive) + faith (believing God keeps His promises) = miracles of provision.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2002

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