My father's church is running at a deficit of around £1000 per month. At their AGM they were talking about where the money is going. Some of it goes
on heating, lighting etc, wages of the minister and in sending money overseas to three different charities.
Personally I think they need to get their house in order and plan for the funds they have available. Whilst I think the charities are worthwhile I think they should be funded separately by the parishioners rather than directly by the church in the hope that people will stump up. The congregation is dwindling and the minister will not charge for funerals etc.
What do you think? Continue to run at a deficit in the hope that some rich benefactor will stump up or leave a donation in their will or cut their cloth according to their means?
In my experience, members of congregations seem to have a more willing heart to donate money for "missions," but they aren't moved to give for
mundane local expenses such as office supplies, painting lines on the parking lot, etc.
There is a theological consideration here: people who only wish to give if they like the way the money is spent are sort of giving it with strings attached. In First Testament times (as one of my Hebrew professors liked to say), the offering was given to Yahweh as a sacrifice, something you were giving up. Yahweh designated some such offerings to be completely burned up--the purpose was not in its final use, but in the act of giving up something of value to the One from whom it came.
I hold that finances must follow theology, that Christian giving is to be motivated by what the Lord teaches and one's relationship with Him, not by the urgency of bills to pay.
Your church closed though. The local needs must be met before the three overseas projects are considered. Either that or the Rector takes a pay cut or starts charging for hatches, matches and dispatches. The last open day fund raiser was for charity. My dad, my daughter and I all donated. There were historical reenactments, craft fair stalls, coffee and cake and even so they only raised about 300. There are obviously lots of people working hard but not much to show for it at the end of the day.
I'll make no comment as I have strong views on the subject and they may not necessarily be well recieved.
A what do you think questions gives you lots of scope Leigh.
Charity begins at home simple as that.jmb
I started a reply, but I decided that I was coming across as "Self Righteous" and that is not my intent, so I shall maintain my silence.
One scripture that I do live by is Proverbs 3:5&6.
The Vicars that I have know ( Catholic and Protestant) certainly don't live frugal lives.
Some church fees are that fill the church coffers and pay the clergy's wages are absolutely exorbitant.
Regards the Bear
I'd forgotten about that one, It's part of my sig, and is always "there". God will supply all our needs, provided we do our part. We cannot just "Blab it and Grab it" as some seem to think Christians (especially of the Pentecostal variety) do.
The minister at a certain church, that I could mention, certainly believes that charity begins at home. Most of the money that church has raised has
gone into his own bank account.
Therein lies the problem, Katzy, yes, "the workman is worthy of his hire", but, he'd best be certain that his "hire" is not usury. I have known some wealthy pastors, but it were not from their congregations that their wealth was made, but from honest hard work. (Two were in business together writing and producing a fishing magazine along with other more spiritual books.) For years, neither of them took a wage from the church and we could afford to pay them.