I’ve written a little bit recently about The Cost of Living Crisis. I must admit that evangelical engagement with the topic seems a bit understated still. This is reflected in the fact that very few of us do seem to be talking about it. When we do talk about it, it gets nowhere the same level of attention as discussions about culture wars, complementarianism of slightly different perspectives on the Doctrine of the Trinity
Yet, as I argued here and for the reasons outlined there, we do need to pay serious attention to it. Currently we are seeing fuel bills going up in the UK. I expect this is similar around the world. In the UK, there’s a regulated energy price cap but that is reviewed twice yearly and is expected to go up to over £3.5k per year in October. As energy costs fall hardest in winter we may expect households to be facing bills of around £500 during the coldest months.
Now, a lot of people will be affected and we should be paying attention to that but I wanted to highlight one particular group of people. There are pastors who have committed to serving in very small church plants or revitalisation projects. Often these are in areas already affected by great poverty. They may well be in older, hard to heat accommodation. Some of these men are preparing for a winter when they will struggle to pay for the heating, to keep the car running and to feed their families. In those cases, it will not be a simple matter of asking the church to give a little more. The church will be at full stretch.
So, here’s a little plea. If you are part of a church that is doing okay financially and if you are serious about Gospel mission to the least reached parts of the UK then now is the time to act. If you are already partnering with a plant or replant then please check in with them to find out how their finances are being affected and the impact on the pastor and his family. If you are not yet linked in with such a church, then would you consider stepping in to help offer financial support to needy people seeking to serve the Gospel in needy areas.
If you don’t know where to begin then I’m sure that those involved in networks such as The FIEC, Catalyst, Affinity, Acts29 and the EA would be more than happy to link you up.