Money and the church

JoshLive

Member
I am teaching a series called The Word On...

Last week was The Word On... Alcohol (John 2:1-12)
I personally don't drink alcohol by the way and I gave them some reason that they could chose not to drink themselves. One of those reasons was from Romans 14 - I throw that in for Pastor Tim.

Anyway...
This week is The Word On... Money and the Church (John 2:13-25)

This church (I am the interim) has a money tree... each gold leaf represents a $500 donation to the building fund. I think this is inappropriate in a church, what do you guys think. How would you help the church understand that???
 

Brother Mike

Active Member
Josh,

How is the money tree used?

If it is just and indicatior of money collected, in $500 increments, I would think OK. If it were to list the folks who donated $500, I would have my conerns.

God bless
Bro. Mike
 

JoshLive

Member
The leaves each have a name... so give $500 and get your name on the tree. Or you could put the name of a loved one or dead relative... either way it kinda messes up the don't let your left hand know... stuff.
 

marty

Beta Tester
You could approach the subject in a positive way, by telling them that our Father will reward them openly for what they give in secret. Make it fun! By focusing on our Lord's blessings, no one will feel picked on.

I think it would be great to have leaves representing each $500 increment in the fund - but not with names on them. That would probably lead to pride, not blessings. Don't want to give the enemy any footholds!

Matthew 6:3-5 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Mark 12:42-44 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
 

Jeff

Member
Good post Marty. I think the scripture passages you quoted says it all. Sad how we come up with all kinds of ideas on how we can accomplish great things for the Lord and forget to read the scriptures to see what He thinks about them.

Besides the select group of distinguished donors with names on the leaves I could picture the poor widow looking at the tree and wishing she could give as much as them (even though she actually gave more), or wishing she could honor her dead husband with his name on a leaf (although he's probably already more honored than she could know).

We do tend to desire to have our treasure, and recognition, here on earth, don't we?

Maybe as church treasurer I should announce the top 10 donors of the year awards. Then again maybe I should get some sleep and pray that I have a clearer head when I wake up.
 
I am teaching a series called The Word On...

Anyway...
This week is The Word On... Money and the Church (John 2:13-25)

This church (I am the interim) has a money tree... each gold leaf represents a $500 donation to the building fund. I think this is inappropriate in a church, what do you guys think. How would you help the church understand that???
Moses started the first building fund and he had to tell the people to stop giving. When was the last time anyone heard a preacher tell the congregation to stop giving, they had given too much?

Maybe the pastor should let everyone know the church needs money for improvement or a new building, place a box somewhere convienant for donations, pray constantly and believe on the Lord that the needs of the church will be met. It may be some see this as "gimick" and the message they are seeing is I'm sure not what the pastor wants to be teaching. Somone once said to John Wesley, "preach faith until you have faith and then preach faith because you do have faith".

Exodus 36:5-6 And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make. And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.
 

Jeff

Member
When was the last time anyone heard a preacher tell the congregation to stop giving, they had given too much?

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Your point is understood and well taken, but I'll go off on a rabbit-trail anyway :).

Our little church has been blessed greatly over the past year or so. I can't give any specifics as to why; we didn't come up with any clever ideas for fund raising, or make it a point to preach on tithing, or even stress how much in debt we were (all paid off now by the riches and grace of God).

However is it possible to give too much today? There's always the church planting project in Brazil that badly needs funds for construction, there's always the faithful missionary who's been facing new struggles every day for years in Uganda with very little resources.

I guess if as a church we just use "our" money to gold-plate the pulpit and save all the extra in the bank for a rainy day; then people are giving too much. If we "distribute to the needs of the saints" as we should I don't think we can give too much.

I guess maybe even churches can end up trying to gain and hold on to what they see as "theirs" even as we as individuals do.

Maybe people need to see the church supporting missions and others, rather than just their own programs, to be encouraged to give more.

Just a couple of thoughts, I hope they make sense and I'm not just off on a tangent again.
 

JoshLive

Member
Michael... I agree with your thoughts but the situation I am in... I believe you misunderstood. I hate the money tree, to me it is horrible, both tacky and offensive. The problem is, it pre-dates my ministry at this church and as I teach the truth about money and the church, some are going to be offended about removing the prideful old tree.

I am going to teach the truth and tell them that I don't care for it, but I just wanted to hear some other thoughts about it.
 

marty

Beta Tester
...I hate the money tree, to me it is horrible, both tacky and offensive. The problem is, it pre-dates my ministry at this church and as I teach the truth about money and the church, some are going to be offended about removing the prideful old tree.

I am going to teach the truth and tell them that I don't care for it, but I just wanted to hear some other thoughts about it.
I'm praying for you, Josh. May our Lord bless your teaching.
 
I am going to teach the truth and tell them that I don't care for it, but I just wanted to hear some other thoughts about it.
Josh, I'm sure you'll do the right thing. I lifted that suggestion from 2 Chronicles.

2 Chronicles 24:8-11 And at the king's commandment they made a chest, and set it without at the gate of the house of the LORD. And they made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem, to bring in to the LORD the collection that Moses the servant of God laid upon Israel in the wilderness. And all the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, and cast into the chest, until they had made an end. Now it came to pass, that at what time the chest was brought unto the king's office by the hand of the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, the king's scribe and the high priest's officer came and emptied the chest, and took it, and carried it to his place again. Thus they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance.
 

MiltW

Member
I would like to hear how things are going. Sometimes funny little traditions get to be pets, if you know what I mean? I have found myself, that sometimes it is best to make as little a deal out of it as possible while still leting it be known that isn't something you are thrilled with. Still, if they are giving out of hearts of love, that's the main thing is it not?

I don't like name plates on pews, or organs, or windows or, well, you get the picture, but some people like to be reminded that great granddad gave a wad of cash so that those pews could be put in. (Even though today they should be tossed before some poor soul gets a splinter.)
I much prefer a plaque in honor of a saint that has not just given money, but many years of their lives to the work of the Church, maybe with other names on over a span of several years. And a hall or classroom is a good place for that.

But sometimes we have to love people like God has loved us, just the way they are. And let Him work as He will with them. You might give them other ideas and wait patiently for them to make it their own.

Just some thoughts. But would like to hear how the sermons went.

Milt
 
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