Community, Social Justice, Giving and EvangelismLast time in part 5, I talked about how "Communal Living Has A Strong Social Justice Emphasis". This time I'm going to talk about more financial aspects of some communities.
I Remember A Church That Established A Loan Account
This account became a little famous in that, I found out about this account because it was reported on the News one night.
They didn’t say what the arrangements were for being able to get access to this loan but they interviewed a number of the people who had accessed this loan.
Amongst their praises, I gleaned that this was an interest free loan, that they payed back at a rate they could easily afford. More than that however, if anything happened they were never required to pay back the loan at all. It was managed by a church and I think that only church member could get it and they had never had anyone default.
People used this loan to get emergency things like white goods that had broken down and trailers that helped start small businesses etc. I also don’t know how the fund managed to grow or if it ever did. I imagine it would have a lot more potential if there was a way for the funds to grow.
However, I was so excited by this idea that I put it to our church. It was met with horror. I was told that the legal liabilities and difficulties and practical problems were just too great. When I mentioned that another church was already doing it, well... I don’t really know what happened but somehow it all got buried in the fits of horror that people were having.
I'm still inspired by this idea. It could be started in a spirit of giving by people giving to establish the loan float. If it could be pulled off, can you imagine how much better the life of any congregation could be? Not having to go to banks for emergency funds or to establish small businesses. If their lives are financially better and they already have a spirit of giving through the loan can you imagine how much more money could be given away to missions and social justice? Mission organizations and NGO's(Non Government Organizations) do micro loans all the time overseas in less well off countries very successfully. Why could such a thing not work in our own back yard?
This is just one thing a church could do toward becoming so well off that everybody in it had no needs?
Next time in part 7, I will talk about the Oberlin Community, that exists to grow the wealth of it's members in order that they may be able to give more to charity.