Illustration results for capital campaign
C. Philip Green
A House of Cards Economy
In fact, our current financial crisis is a direct result of this "entitlement," or "free lunch" kind of thinking. According to Terry Jones of the Investor's Business Daily (posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008), President Carter signed the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977, which pushed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to aggressively lend money to low-income communities. It was his contention that every American should own their own home, whether or not they could afford it.
When Clinton got into office, he "supercharged the process." He put in place new rules and regulations, which gave Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac extraordinary leverage, allowing them to hold just 2.5% of capital to back their investments, vs. the 10% required for banks.
With government guarantees and government incentives in place, banks made loans to people that required no money down and no verification of income. People who couldn't afford it, were given extraordinary loans, and by 2007, Fannie and Freddie owned or guaranteed nearly half of the $12 trillion U.S. mortgage market.
When President Bush and others began to warn Congress of an impending crisis, most Congressmen ignored it, because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were financing 384 of their campaigns to the tune of $200 million over the last 20 years. (Terry Jones, "How A Clinton-Era Rule Rewrite Made Subprime Crisis Inevitable," Investor's Business Daily, Posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008, 4:30 PM PT)
"Free money" was available for the taking. All went well as long as housing prices kept going up. If a person couldn't pay their mortgage, which many couldn't, no problem! Just foreclose on the property and sell it for more than what was owed. Banks were making money hand over fist with these subprime loans, and it worked as long as the housing prices kept going up.
But when the housing market began to drop, the whole system came crashing down like a house of cards. Banks couldn't sell foreclosed properties at a high enough price to cover their losses, and now everybody is hurting.
It's all because of an "entitlement" philosophy and greed. It's all because people wanted a "free lunch" without the work. It's all because people wanted to take, instead of working to give. They were ignoring the 8th commandment: "You shall not steal."
Most consulting will fall into 1 of 4 categories: (1) to facilitate a particular process such as strategic planing or capital campaign; (2) to address issues such as relocation or staffing; (3) to address a specific problem such as conflict resolution; and (4) increasingly, to serve as a coach to the senior pastor or leadership team. (NetFax 7/19/99)
The Unbaptized Arm
Ivan the Great was the tsar of all of Russia during the Fifteenth Century. He brought together the warring tribes into one vast empire--the Soviet Union. As a fighting man he was courageous. As a general he was brilliant. He drove out the Tartars and established peace across the nation.
However, Ivan was so busy waging his campaigns that he did not have a family. His friends and advisers were quite concerned. They reminded him that there was no heir to the throne, and should anything happen to him the union would shatter into chaos. "You must take a wife who can bear you a son." The busy soldier statesman said to them that he did not have the time to search for a bride, but if they would find a suitable one, he would marry her.
The counselors and advisers searched the capitals of Europe to find an appropriate wife for the great tsar. And find her, they did. They reported to Ivan of the beautiful dark eyed daughter of the King of Greece. She was young, brilliant, and charming. He agreed to marry her sight unseen.
The King of Greece was delighted. It would align Greece in a favorable way with the emerging giant of the north. But there had to be one condition, "He cannot marry my daughter unless he becomes a member of the Greek Orthodox Church." Ivan’s response, "I will do it!"
So, a priest was dispatched to Moscow to instruct Ivan in Orthodox doctrine. Ivan was a quick student and learned the catechism in record time. Arrangements were concluded, and the tsar made his way to Athens accompanied by 500 of his crack troops--his personal palace guard.
He was to be baptized into the Orthodox church by immersion, as was the custom of the Eastern Church. His soldiers, ever loyal, asked to be baptized also. The Patriarch of the Church assigned 500 priests to give the soldiers a one-on-one catechism crash course. The soldiers, all 500 of them, were to be immersed in one mass baptism. Crowds gathered from all over Greece.
What a sight that must have been, 500 priests and 500 soldiers, a thousand people, walking into the blue Mediterranean. The priests were dressed in black robes and tall black hats, the official dress of the Orthodox Church. The soldiers wore their battle uniforms with of all their regalia--ribbons of valor, medals of courage. and their weapons of battle.
Suddenly, there was a problem. The Church prohibited professional soldiers from being members; they w...
Fifteen years ago, I was serving as pastor in Alabama and our church was in a capital stewardship campaign to raise money to build a new building. There was one particular lady in our church who was a widow. Her husband had left her a lot of money, and she had a lot more than she really needed. She loved the Lord and she loved her church, but she tended to be rather conservative. We had a banquet one night and she wrote down an amount on her card that was a very “safe” amount. It was not a risk at all. That evening I spoke on where Jesus said, “Don’t store up your treasures on earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and thieves break in and steal. But lay up your treasures in heaven.” I spoke about how a moth eats up wool when we store it, not when we wear it. I went into great detail about moths. I also spoke on how rust destroys tools when they are stored not when they are being used. My point was that when we store up God’s resources they don’t accomplish anything: we have to use them or they become like moth-eaten garments or rust encrusted tools.
Nell went home from that banquet feeling a little guilty about the amount she committed because of the large amount she was storing up. She walked up to her front door and opened her purse to get out her key and she was shocked by what happened next: somehow a huge moth had gotten into her purse and when she opened it, the moth fluttered and flew out. She said God used that moth to teach her that she didn’t need to be storing up her money; she needed to be using it for God. She returned to the fellowship hall (she lived just across the street) an...