For the next three weeks, I'm busting money myths. Our worship series at Campbell is called "Rethink Generosity," and each week I'll do all I can to disillusion the church when it comes to money. Here's week one:
MYTH #1: “The Church Needs Your Money”
Although I cannot remember ever hearing it spoken as bluntly as this, I believe that the perception is real. Whether it is created by television preachers asking you to send your donations or pastors asking for more offering, the perception exists that “all the church wants is my money.”
It is a myth.
More precisely, the statement simply doesn’t make sense. A pastor cannot stand before a church and say “the church” needs “your” money. The people to whom that pastor is speaking … ARE THE CHURCH.
When a member of a congregation puts cash in an envelope or a check in a plate or clicks the button to complete an electronic funds transfer, that member isn’t giving anything away. The money involved in the transaction still belongs to the individual as a member of the body. All that has happened is that the money has been transferred from the “home account” to the “church account.”
It is accurate to say, “The church needs money to do ministry” and I believe this is what most people mean when they say, “The church needs your money.” But it is a fundamentally different expression. It takes money to function in the world, which is precisely where ministry happens. The church (read, the people) makes that ministry happen with our money.
Followers of Jesus do not give because an organization needs our money - Followers of Jesus give because God has changed our lives! And now, with lives changed, we long that other lives might be changed, as well.