Monday, August 04, 2008

How bad is our economy?

The other day I had a conversation with a leader from another church. In the course of the conversation I suggested that the US hasn't done enough to help poverty worldwide. (I was particularly speaking of evangelicals in the US.) His response was that the US couldn't help others because our economy is too bad right now.

That raised 2 questions in my mind. First, how good would the economy have to be before we could help others around the world. I wasn't speaking specifically about the last couple years when talking about our history of poverty relief. If anything, it seems we've picked up our rate of contribution with efforts like 1000 Wells Project and Blood:water mission, two movements started by popular musicians.

The second question that I have to ask about our economy is How bad is it really? Sure, I can tell you stories of people I know loosing their jobs. Yes, homes are selling slowly and for less money that a couple years ago (still much more than say 5 years ago). But, if one movie can bring in $400-million in just 17 days, is our economy really that bad?

It took $4 per gallon for Americans to begin to rethink driving habits, and still they're only down less than 5%. People are still eating out and kids are still playing in travel sports leagues that require packing the SUV a couple times per week to drive great distances to play a kid's game.

Our economy isn't as fat as it has been, but it is still fat enough. Most Americans still have more they could give. Most American church has room in their ministry to help those suffering with no food, no medicine around the world.

I'm afraid that I'm as much to blame for this, but I'm working on that. Join me?