A Radical Approach to Church Finances

This week the Antwerp Community Church took a leap in the right direction. A need arose with a couple who was in a car wreck and had some financial repercussions as a result of it. The church gave the family $400. Awesome!

I'm extremely happy that people are being shown love in financial ways, but there are still a few kinks in the program that I am uncomfortable with. For starters, I'm against designated offerings. You know those areas in the church budget that you can designate your offering to go towards. They rub me the wrong way. They seem to be a manipulative tactic appealing the god of individualism in our culture. "You can give to the church and have your money spent the way you want it to." It allows one to give to a church without any submission to the spiritual authority placed there. The main thought I have with designated offerings is why do we even give to the church in the first place if I am the one in charge of where my money can go in the church. If something is important enough for the people to God to do, then just make it an integral part of the budget. If it isn't that important, then the church as a whole probably shouldn't be doing it.

Our church is in somewhat financial dire straits, so the amount of money we set aside for loving actions isn't probably what it should be. However, I strongly believe that if churches start focusing on loving people with their money and on the tasks that God has laid down in Scripture, then they will have an overflow of blessing. When I was in the church in Lansing, I do not recall any financial need ever coming along that we did not have the resources to meet. God always provided for us to be a blessing to others and bring him glory. We follow a God who does incredible things in unusual ways, a God who wants to be glorified by the actions of those who follow him. The key to financial solvency is not a tighter budget and frugality. It is in opening the coffers to acts of love. When we become a blessing to those around us, God will bless us.

I would love to see our church make a commitment to be spending 50% of its offerings in loving financial ways five years from now. If we had that as a goal everytime a decision had to be made, everything would be placed in its proper perspective. I could almost guarantee that if we made a radical commitment like that, God would bless us in unforseeable ways.

Watch out for the potholes.