Skip to content

Micro and Macro

I’ve been thinking about micro and macro lately.  In soccer, we teach “micro-soccer” — individual ball handling skills
and small games of keepaway that are designed to focus the child’s attention on their own handling of the soccer ball.  We also teach “macro-soccer” — the big picture — passing, teamwork, strategy, and rules to keep the game flowing safely.  The two are intertwined.

Likewise, in economics there are two branches: microeconomics and macroeconomics.  Microeconomics looks at an individual consumer or business and studies its behavior.  If the price of a product rises, the consumer will likely buy less.  If the price falls, s/he will buy more. If the cost of
producing a product increases, a business is likely to produce less of it.  If the production cost falls, the business will supply more.  Microeconomics  has a narrow focus. On the other hand, macroeconomics looks at the big picture.  How is the amount of money circulating in a country related to inflation?  Macroeconomics is the study of Gross National Products and tax policy, public goods and services and unemployment rates.  Macroeconomics is about community and relationships.

Without a doubt, the Biblical prophets observed both individual behavior and the big picture.  Through their wisdom and their stories, they were able to convince individuals to change, and therefore to change the behavior of kings, tribes, and whole nations.

Faithful stewardship of a congregation’s resources requires attention to the multitude of details, along with the ability not only to see and analyze the big picture, but to explain it clearly and concisely.  It requires being able to speak to individual desires as well as to congregational decisions.

In 1993, the Financial Accounting Standards Board overhauled non-profit financial reporting, consolidating the various fund designations (capital fund, endowment fund, operating fund, plant fund, etc.) into three types of funds.

With the availability of personal computers,
small non-profits became able to account for the tiniest of budget details — and to track these total fund balances easily.  This newsletter issue presents the first of these “new” reporting formats, FASB116: Accounting for Contributions Received and Contributions Made.

Links to the full statement and a summary are available at congregationalfinance.com/LibraryLinks.html