Monday, September 17, 2012

The Fund Raiser

"Would you like to by some donuts?" I spun around not sure what I just heard so I said "I'm sorry, what did you say?" The lady with a small child said "Would you like to buy some donuts to support the __________ Church? They are fresh!" 

I had to run to the Dollar Store to grab some balloons for my daughter's birthday. I or my wife will usually run out the night before the kids birthday and buy a few balloons to tie to their chair. The morning of their birthday they wake up to a table covered with a plastic birthday cloth and balloons tied to the back of their chair. We typically have some type of muffins and juice or milk to get their special day started off.

This is where I was when I was approached by the lady selling donuts for her church. I was in the parking lot of the Dollar Store putting the balloons in the back of my car being careful not to let them float away. The lady somewhat startled me because I was focused on my balloon mission. Once I realized what was going on I declined her sales pitch and headed home.

As I was driving home I started thinking about what she was doing. She is not the first person to ask me to buy something to help her church, there have been others selling donuts, I have seen people outside Wal-Mart asking for donations, I have seen people at the stop lights walking between traffic with large buckets with their church logo on the side asking passers by to drop whatever they can into the bucket. They usually offer a "God bless you!" whether you drop something in or not. The question that came to mind is would the churches we read about in Acts have done this? Would the Apostle Paul been ok with those in the church asking those outside the church for help? Did the early churches have camel washes to raise money for a missions trip? Did the ladies have bake sales and have big signs posted saying "Help with our church building fund?" The answer is no! I don't think they would have ever dreamed of doing this. Take a look at a few verses:
Acts 2: 44-47 -  44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
The believers, the Christians, the church sold their own property and gave to anyone in need. They did not ask for donations!
Acts 4: 32-37 - 32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.
36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
Again, the body of Christ was stepping up and doing some radical things to support the mission of the church.
I Corinthians 16: 1-3 - Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 
Paul did not tell them to go out and have a fund raiser, each one should give in keeping with their income. They were not to go ask anyone outside the church for anything. 

When I see "church people" having fund raisers and asking for donations it makes me wonder if they know what scripture says about this and it also makes me wonder how they are handling the resources the Lord has entrusted them with, both personally and within the church.

I think we need to understand that God is looking for our obedience to His word more so than how many things we can buy, build or support in His name. God doesn't need our money:
Psalm 50: 9, 10
9 I have no need of a bull from your stall
    or of goats from your pens,
10 for every animal of the forest is mine,
    and the cattle on a thousand hills.
If we are faithful to what God has called us to and we are faithful stewards with what he has given us he will provide, God will meet our needs, not the proceeds from some donut sale!


  1. Well said! Love this post! Jenny Jo

  2. This has bothered me over the years. Churches should seek support from members, parachurch organizations, denominational headquarters, and other churches that happen to have funds to spare. Seeking help from the outside is inviting non-member scrutiny and even government intervention.