When many ministers’ primary role shifted from being pulpit preacher to being institutional CEO, clergy found themselves wondering, “When did my study become an office?” Today, as congregations consider tapping government funds to provide social services once provided by secular agencies, another question may be arising: “When did our ministry become a program?”
Developed in light of “Charitable Choice,” the following guidelines reflect an effort by some religious groups to regulate their dealings with government funding agencies. Religious organizations that wish to comment on the draft should contact Amy Sherman at <ShermanA[at]Cstone.net>.
President Bush has quickly followed through on his promise to preach the message of faith-based solutions to social problems. He wants to expand “charitable choice” far past its original 1996 parameters. While experts warn against exaggerating how much religious groups can do, the turn to faith-based groups is a fact of life.