Is the church a corporation whose intent is monetary profit alone? I have met numerous pastors over the years who freely admit their attitude toward their "job" was that of a CEO of a business. I have known pastors and teachers who boasted of their "benefit package" as if they were the head of a Fortune 500 company.
I refuse to believe that ministry should be synonymous with business. Business is commercial activity involving the exchange of money for goods or services. To stay in business demands making a profit in whatever the enterprise being done. With no profit there is no means to pay employees, purchase inventory or pay all the bills associated with being a functioning business.
Is the purpose of the church to make money? This is a question that haunts many who must make decisions regarding church policy and goals. I know from having served as a minister many years ago that just as much emphasis was placed on selling products, pestering people to donate more and cutting expenses as there was in trying to help people.
Of course there is an element of stewardship involved, for Jesus Himself spoke of this. But, if the whole emphasis is on the "bottom line", the resulting decisions will revolve around what is most efficient, most able to generate more income and tips the balance sheet toward being profitable. This has always seemed odd to me for most ministries, churches and other religious organizations are considered "non-profit".
Near the end of Jesus ministry, He entered the temple one day and exploded in rage as He looked at the most holy place in all of Jerusalem being turned into a flea market. Look closely at this record in Mark 11:15-17:
"And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves ;
And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple .
And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves ."
When the house of prayer, which is the house of God, is turned into nothing but a commercial enterprise, it has become a den of thieves. When the need for massive financial contributions becomes the driving force within a church, the inevitable results are not Godly.
God lays out principles in His Word regarding tithes, offerings and giving. But, this does not give the church freedom to turn the house of God into just another commercial enterprise intent on making money.
Like so many subjects, there is a fine line in this discussion between what is right and wrong. Ultimately every leader must look at their motives and make sure they are not turning the house of God into a den of thieves.
I have been to a church where the pastor said, "God will only give you how much you tithe to your church."
This scared me.. and turned me away from God, because I didn't know any different.
I know many people still believe that this is true, but I thank God that I now know the real truth.
Thank you for sharing this blog!
God bless you!
As you know, for the past five years I have attended a fairly large church after a lifetime of being in small churches. I know that what you say is so true in churches across America... not just in "mega-churches" but in small ones as well. Ironically I heard more talk about money in small churches of 50 people than I have in my particular church.
I tell people my church is a "Philippian Church" meaning that it is a church that values giving above receiving. This was one of the things which drew me to it. I believe it is critical to examine the heart of your church. Is it truly a giving church or one that simply talks about it?
I agree with your point. Another problem is that people who are new to Christianity often confuse the church and its inhabitants with true Christianity. When they discover the flaws in organized religion, it can sour them on being a Christian at all. - Bibleguy64
I have to say no...the true church is not about big profits! We give to the church in order to support the works of spreading the gospel message, not to "buy the preacher new $2500 suits!" Any congregations who take money in the name of God and then use it for godless purposes will come to ruins, either now or in the final Day!
God bless the message, b2y!
spreading the gospel, increasing the kingdom and making disiciples i love it as my heart is transformed when i give.I always pray that God make me a better steward of the finances he trusted me with. nuff said, be blessed
The Book of Exodus will show that The Master Himself appoints whom He wishes to be the Public Priesthood. Tithes and Offerings were to be brought each Sabbath for the furtherance of Gods Holy Word and for the Priests survival, for they were not to do other than Gods Holy Work. Appropriately stated was the non-spiritual deeds done in the Synagogue in Messiahs Day and later the Fortune 500 Concept to properly run Gods House. Nothing has changed. History continues to repeat. Although many will not agree with the truth, the Purpose Driven Church Concept is this very concept / topic in discussion here. It is a business plan designed to properly organize & operate the church. Kinda invalidates Gods Plan, huh?