Monday, February 6, 2017
3 Things Churches Waste Money On
1. Church Building
Cathedral-style buildings with high ceilings may look impressive, but we can seat just as many people in an office space with basic drop-tile ceilings. To accommodate a congregation of 300 people and have adequate parking, a typical church building in the Phoenix area would cost around two million dollars to purchase. Having a building with bling factor does nothing to further the work of the Lord, and property ownership can end up being a drain on a church’s finances.
Have you noticed all the walls we’ve knocked down lately as we keep expanding? Our landlord paid for that. The property owner maintains and even remodels the property for us, which saves us a ton of money. Renting a space in a “strip mall” also gives us the flexibility to downsize to a smaller unit if attendance were to drop substantially.
2. Christian School
In Acts 6 where it talks about what pastors and church employees are supposed to be spending their time doing, there is no mention of a Christian school. There is no mention of a Christian school anywhere else in the Bible either. It is the job of the parents to raise their children, not the employees of the church. Not only is a church school unbiblical, but in order to keep tuition affordable, the school usually ends up leeching off of the church’s finances. I talked about this in my sermon on “The Christian Fool Movement.”
3. Bogus Missionaries
Instead of organizing their own fruit-bearing ministry, churches tend to throw a lot of money at missionaries. I’m all for supporting missions, but we should also be doing some of the work ourselves. A lot of “missions-minded” churches don’t have much of a soul-winning program, let alone plan their own missions trips. When we do support a missionary, we need to make sure he is a hard worker and not a MOOCHinary.
If you’ve ever struggled to find a good church in your area, then you know how many pastors are wrong on salvation and/or do not go soul-winning. Unfortunately, it’s even harder to find a doctrinally sound, productive missionary. Most missionary letters are vague, so churches often know very little about the day to day activities of the missionaries they support.
There just isn’t enough accountability when a missionary is supported by a hundred different churches that are each sending him 25 dollars a month. When a church takes on a missionary for support, they ought to send him a large enough amount, so that they actually care what he is doing.
We send money to missionaries we know personally who were bona fide soul winners before they headed off to the mission field. Other missionaries, we have gotten to know by visiting the mission field and seeing the work they are doing first hand. At the very least, churches need to make sure the missionaries they support are preaching the right plan of salvation and are regularly publishing quantifiable results.
Here is a sermon on “Bible Principles for Missions.”