As a child I remember my mother saying something rather amusing. When unexpected company would show up at meal time she would always invite them to remain for the meal. As they would politely try to refuse the invitation as being an imposition, she would say, “Oh, there will be enough. I’ll just add some water to the soup.”
When there is a strain on finances in a family, lifestyle adjustments often have to be made. The same is true with the churches of today. The question that should be considered prayerfully is, “Where would God want us to make cuts in our expenses in order to still have a viable ministry?” This is a concern that Thom S. Rainer raises in his book, “Autopsy of a Deceased Church.” He consulted a number of churches that were either sick or dying. Something that he discovered was the items they cut in their budget affected whether they lived or died. The lethal decision that was common to the dying churches was that they made the first and deepest cuts to ministry and programs with an outward focus. In their attempt to preserve what they had they strangled themselves.
So the question before us today is do we add water to the soup to try to get by or do we take steps to provide a more wholesome ministry meal? What would God want us to do? What instructions do we receive from God’s Word to give us the direction we need as we make difficult ministry decisions?