Church need funds
Greetings In Christ Jesus,
Thank you for your consideration and insight on the following topic. It
has been my understanding that the scriptures teach that we should
execute acts of benevolence to those in need. It has also been my
understanding that in the Scriptures, especially those in the New
Testament, the model given was as far as Church funds were to be
utilized for the saints, or fellow christians. I also have been under
the understanding that there is a distinction between individual giving
and use of the church treasury. There has come a division in thought
between some in the body i serve as to whatthe scriptures teach in this
regard. Any insight you can add to help us to better understand the
scriptures would be greatly appreciated. Specifically, should the church
treasury benevolence fund be open to be members first, all believers in
general, and not to unbelievers, or should it be on an open and equal
basis to any who ask, regardless of their beliefs. Thank you.
In His service
There is nothing in the New Testament that I know of which supports
the idea of a "church treasury." The NT tells us to give weekly,
according to how much God has blessed us. We should pray and give to
the needs God makes us aware of--and not necessarily delegate our
giving to a board of elders or business-managers at church to spend
as they wish.
Human tradition has intruded into this area of church life and is
deeply entrenched these days. There are wide variations as to how
churches budget and spend their money these days--every church seems
to do this differently.
Under the Law of Moses, the Levitical priests were supported by the
people's mandatory tithing and it was their job to repair the temple
and give aid to the poor, etc. See http://ldolphin.org/tithing.html
Churches certainly can of course have a paid central staff--gifted
men and women to equip the saints for their work of the ministry and
to build up the body of Christ, and these folks deserve our financial
support. (Ephesians 4)
In practice many churches do have a need fund--some discretionary
funds for pastors to use to help widows, those out of work, people
with medical problems or unusual expenses etc.
In my opinion, most "benevolent" giving should probably come from the
congregation as individuals or through gifts that are designated.
I am in favor of the spending power residing with the people. When
giving is thoughtful, prayerful and individual, it is much more
rewarding. If the church pastors are living off the fat of the land,
I would refrain from putting money in the offering plate myself, and
divert it to other purposes as the Spirit leads.
You may well hear from someone else on our team. Thanks for writing.