"Since 2008, nearly 200 religious facilities have been foreclosed on by banks, up from eight during the previous two years and virtually none in the decade before that, according to real-estate services firm CoStar Group, Inc. Analysts and bankers say hundreds of additional churches face financial struggles so severe they could face foreclosure or bankruptcy in the near future."
So reports Shelly Banjo in an article in the Wall Street Journal, 25 January 2011.
Jesus said something like, "those who live by the sword will die by the sword" (Matthew 26.52), which I take to mean that we die the same way we live. If we want to use the prevailing credit markets and bank products for our ministries, we ought to know what we are doing. We ought to use them wisely.
Debt is valuable if used conservatively; it destroys us if we use it unwisely. That applies to individuals, companies, and --yes-- even to churches.
Churches ought to use the wisdom and individual talents of our members. Not all of us preach. Not all of us teach. But some of us do work in the financial field; some of our number are excellent bankers. Use their advice! Don't listen to the preacher when it comes to accumulating debt loads; listen to the (sound and faithful) bankers among you!