The church where I assemble unveiled their 2005 budget recently, and it’s alarming where the elders have allocated the bulk of the offerings. If this budget is typical for modern churches I shudder to think where our hearts and priorities are leading us. Does the church where you meet allocate the Lords money with the same basic priorities of ministers and buildings first?
Perhaps I’m just a caveman in the modern era and don’t understand the nuances of modern budget allocation, but I get the feeling that many larger churches are rightly earning their reputations of being just another country club with the emphasis on themselves rather than showing love to the lost, hungry, and hurting in their communities.
How cheerfully can I present my offering on the first day of the week knowing that over 80% of my offering will go to ministerial salaries, mortgages, utilities, Insurance, Praise team supplies, and facility management! Ministerial salaries alone where I attend are $379,840 per year. I realize that oxen were permitted to eat of the grain while they were working, but I doubt they were allowed to gobble up the entire crop.
Another 7% is used for various men, women, and children ministries. Where I meet (approx. 1000 members) 87% of the contribution is earmarked for in-house expenditures. I have a problem with this!
A relatively token amount to care for orphans, feed the hungry, and benevolence is allocated, but the bulk of our offering is required just to maintain the ministers and the buildings. Perhaps I am looking at this whole contribution system wrong. If God is pleased with us spending the money on ourselves; continually improving our physical buildings and hiring more and more ministers for every conceivable project, then I am completely wrong!
If we can house, clothe, feed, and basically support an orphan through Lifeline of Hope for $10 per month, doesn’t this reflect Gods love more than utilizing the contributions on ourselves? $87 of every $100 I offer to the Lord is already designated for my comfort, recreation, and evidently the privilege to worship where we have gorgeous buildings and beautiful manicured yards.
Pushing the contribution plate under my nose just to add greater flair to our buildings and grounds, in my opinion, is wrong. My answer to this dilemma is to reverse the percentage of my offering; Now I offer 13% to the church where I assemble, and 87% to Lifeline of Hope and the Manuelito Navajo Children’s Home.
We are to offer our gifts of money cheerfully; with this in mind, I feel much more cheerful knowing I can support 15–20 orphans each month rather than offering a blank check each week to a church where we heap the money on ourselves. If you stumble on to this post and disagree, please comment and let me know where this is wrong, I have certainly been wrong before, and may be now.