(Part 4 of a series of posts about the Church and GM…catch up on the others here.)
Have you seen the Television commercials saying that GM is “all better now”? The ad (watch here)features the chairman of General Motors Ed Whitacre looking into the camera and claiming that after their bankrupcy GM has “repaid their government loan, in full, five years ahead of schedule”. Awesome, right? GM is back on track. Lets all buy a sweet new camaro (I wish) and celebrate :-)
Unfortunately, according to this New York Times Story and many others, the commercials claims aren’t exactly true… GM did pay off “a” loan in full…but since they have yet to make a profit, and have since received many other LARGER government loans, their only real source of funds to pay off their loan was from funds from other loans. (Sort of like paying your Visa with your MasterCard…if your MasterCard was connected to the treasury and had a 10 billion dollar limit.) :-)
So what can we learn as churches from GM in this case? I think the big answer is BE HONEST. If you have a problem…and EVERYONE knows you have a problem…the WORST thing you can do is try to convince people that you are “all better” if you are not. Be honest about your struggles. Don’t advertise things that aren’t true. (and yeah, churches do that.) Don’t cover up. Be transparent and let people chose whether or not they want to be part of your church.