I am braindead this morning. Here's the best advice I can give you. Take a moment and check out the last few blogs from Larry James and Wade Hodges. (Both are linked to the right.) Here's a taste from Larry. (Why can't he just leave us alone?) This comes in a list of suggestions for churches who are trying so desperately to reduce their moral voice to one or two issues. Re-think, in a comprehensive manner, the annual church operating budget with a view to the inner city and its residents who live in poverty. This is a tough one, testing the authenticity of a congregation's resolve and actual commitment to answering the question, "How can we help?" in a serious way. No disrespect intended--and remember, I served as a senior pastor for almost 25 years--but, churches tend to serve themselves. Many a preacher has counseled his or her congregation to do an assessment of personal priorities and commitments by looking at checkbook ledgers. What is good advice for individual members of faith communities is excellent advice for congregational decision makers. Take a hard look at your church's annual financial plans. Who benefits most from the story of the numbers? What are the percentages? Here's a hard one: compare the funds earmarked for facilities and those set aside for action among the poor. How about a similar comparison between adult education or discipleship training and a commitment to overcoming poverty in the city? I ask that question based on my assumption that most adult members of congregations already know and understand more about what should be done as a person of faith than is actually being done! Take a long, hard, honest look at your congregation's financial plan.