Frivolous Spending: Being a Good Steward of God’s Money
Written by Joseph T. Lee
Good day friends! First of all, I would like to apologize if my post on $80,000 offended anyone yesterday. That was not my intention. I am a firm believer of being a good steward of God’s money, especially when it comes to ministry money. The story yesterday was not about “your church” but about frivolous spending of God’s money.
I do not have any issue with a church serving up coffee, tea, or pastries before the Sunday morning service. Although I personally do not care for coffee, I do love a great cup of hot tea. I know that many churches have coffee areas in their fellowship halls or lobby. There is nothing wrong with providing coffee for your visitors and congregants and certainly nothing wrong with sitting around before church having godly conversations with each other.
The reason I felt led to write that story is that there are many churches that are forsaking community evangelism and changing the church appearance to look more secular in order to attract more people. The idea is to remove the church look and change it to look like a theater or auditorium. Some church organizations are removing their denomination name to attract people who may not want to attend a Methodist or Baptist church. The reason why church congregations are dwindling is because potentially the existing leadership and/or deacons or elders are not engaging the gospel in the community. The leadership are not making disciples who make disciples.
The Bible spoke of this over 2000 years ago when it was written in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” What this means is “itching ears” is a term used in the Bible to describe individuals who seek out messages that apply to their own lifestyle as opposed to adhering to the teaching of Christ Jesus and His Apostles. If it is something they do not like, they will either try to change it or seek to find what they want.
Certainly, modernizing a church building may be needed, but why would a church need to put in a luxury coffee shop or anything that is of a luxury nature in a church building? I am not talking about necessary plumbing or air conditioning or heating. I am talking about elaborate and luxurious services to possibly attract more people. To me, this is a waste of Gods money. It is satisfying the itching ears of those who want to change things the way they want them. Many church bodies are removing the names of their denominations as well as watering down the gospel from the pulpit. Those preachers may be teaching what the itching ears want to hear.
I mentioned yesterday that we should be planting seeds of faith in our community and ministering to almost anyone and everyone. This can be done if everyone who professes to be a Christian would get out into their communities and have “godly conversations” with those who are lost and hurting. We could make a huge difference for the Gospel of Christ by investing our time in other people’s lives.
In reality, if a church wants to put in an $80,000 coffee shop, it is really none of my business because I am not a member of that church. But when I hear of things happening like this when just two years prior, churches from all over were applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and some large churches received hundreds of thousands of dollars. When I then hear of churches doing these luxury additions, and they are asking their congregants to donate money for it during a pandemic, then I have serious concerns about stewardship within a religious organization.
We must be good stewards of God’s money. We must focus our resources on the ministry God has called all of us in. Regardless, whether it is an $80,000 coffee shop or spending multiple millions of dollars on a private jet, these ministry dollars spent need to be accounted for. I ask, is this the best use of God’s money? Is this a need or a want? How is this useful for the cause of Christ? If it does not bring more people to the saving grace of Jesus, then it is money that should not be spent. Are we being salt and light in our communities? Are we engaging the gospel daily? If not, then we need to pray for forgiveness, repent, and start to do what God has called us all to do.
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