Admission charge for Church Presentations

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Berean, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. Berean

    Berean
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    I see more and more churches charging a nominable fee (usually 5 or 10 dollars)for what they call worship or Gospel presentations. I find this an issue of concern if we are calling these presentations worship presentations. However if we referred to them as entertainment programs, such as Gospel Concerts or Southern Gospel Concerts I don't have a problem. This is more prevelant at Christmas time when the reason given is this fee helps us recover some of the expense of putting o9n the program.
     
  2. matt wade

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    If the church membership isn't willing to support programs or ministries within the church, then they shouldn't do them.
     
  3. JohnDeereFan

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    I have no problem charging money. I would just point out that the moment you charge money, it is no longer a worship service, but a concert.

    I never will forget going to a Twila Paris concert once about twenty years ago and she stopped right in the middle of a song and said, "I just want to stop and rebuke the 'Spirit of Entertainment' I feel is here tonight". Some guy in the back jumped up and shouted, "I paid 30 bucks for these tickets. There had danged well better be a spirit of entertainment here!"

    I know I'm dating myself. When was the last time you saw a pair of concert tickets for $30?
     
  4. Crucified in Christ

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    Amen! I could not agree more strongly!
     
  5. Crucified in Christ

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    My feelings on this are simple: the Bible makes it clear that those without means are not to be disenfranchised from the Fellowship...I don't know how Paul could have been any more clear about this. If you charge for church activities, some people might be left out. By the way, $5-10 is in no way nominal if its per person. A family of four would find themselves in tough shape if they have financial issues (I know plenty of families that do not have $20-40 set aside so that they can go to church).
    Isn't the church supposed to be the one place in which we are not separated along these lines?
     
  6. glfredrick

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    I see a difference between programs put on by the local church and professional entertainment on a concert tour, etc., and can also see the value in charging admission for the pros but not the church functions.

    But, I'd prefer to NEVER charge admission to anything held within the walls of the church, with one exception -- as a fund-raiser for some worthy cause, where 100% of the money going to that fund, and advertisement that stated that exact point.

    I don't even like a free will offering at the end of a production. They are never really free will offerings... People feel obligated!
     
  7. jaigner

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    If people are willing to donate to support a particular gathering, that's wonderful.

    But people should never be charged admission for anything in a sanctuary. But that's just my feeling on the matter.
     
  8. freeatlast

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    It is not a good trend. However I do hope they pay taxes on the money taken in. You might want to report them to the IRS if you have information to the contrary.
     
  9. Salty

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    That was just about the time Twila came to Syracuse. Our radio station, that I worked for rented First Baptist for the concert. It was in about March- and for some reason the concert was late, and people were not allowed inside (they were still doing sound check) and it was cold. And we (the radio station) charged a decent amount for the tickets. Of course I got in for free. Also, I ran the souvenir table. I must have taken in over $2,000 that night!
     
  10. blackbird

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    Charging admission for various presentations COULD be considered taxable income----before any church plunges off the diving board they need to check with the IRS

    Its not worth loosing tax exempt status

    Love offering---yes

    Charging admission---absolutely no!!!
     
  11. annsni

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    There are two situations where we will charge for something:

    #1 - When there is a meal and we need to pay the caterer. We HAVE had times that we've covered that bill but like next Friday we're doing our Christmas play with a dinner and we're charging $25 for a full 4 course dinner for everyone. The other 3 times the play is done it is free - it is just the dinner theater we charge for. Hubby and I got a table for our new church and we're inviting the new attendees of the new church so that they can feel comfortable coming to the "home" church.

    #2 - When there is an outside organization that charges for the event. This would be like the Dave Ramsey simulcasts or something like that. We had Louie Giglio and Charlie Hall at our church a few years ago for the Passion Subway Series, it was free. They did not have a need to charge for it and neither did we. When we had Anne Graham come, we didn't charge either (although she did have books that people could purchase including a workbook for the seminar). So we try to not charge unless we absolutely have to.

    As for the idea of "fund raising", we have never had a fund raising anything and we will never do it as long as any of the current pastoral staff are here either. If God can't get us the money with just requests, then we're doing something wrong.
     
  12. mcdirector

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    I agree.

    Love offering is one thing.
    Charging? Nope.
     
  13. mcdirector

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    I was thinking the same thing. I can see this getting a church in a boatload of trouble.
     
  14. rbell

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    Gotta watch that "spirit of entertainment."

    That demon looks just like Liberace. Ghastly.

    Not to be confused with the equally demonic "Spirit of Entertainment Tonight" which looks like Mario Lopez. Also ghastly.

    However, having said that...I do enjoy watching the Spirit of Entertainment's juggling act. He's pretty good.


    I'd probably enjoy watching the Spirit of Entertainment more at a Catholic church...the confession stand has half-price popcorn at intermission.







    :D :D :D
     
  15. SaggyWoman

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    I have the tendency to agree with this.
     
  16. Zenas

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    The largest church in Kentucky is Southeast Christian in Louisville. For a number of years they had an Easter pageant that played to a packed house and they charged admission, allegedly to defray costs. I attended one of their performances and it was definitely worth the money. However, the idea of paying to go to a church program was somewhat off-putting. They could have had a “love offering” and raised enough money to cover their costs.
     
  17. annsni

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    That made my night. :applause:
     
  18. Gina B

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    The concept of charging just feels totally wrong. The last time I volunteered to help with something and was in the middle of serving food, someone else walked by and commented to not worry about the extra people in line because they were there with spouses and their spouses had already paid for them.
    I felt like I'd just gotten kicked in the stomach and it was not the first time.
    Whether justified or not, charging people to attend things at church is going to raise eyebrows and cause skepticism among people.
    I'm part of the church, a Christian, and it feels wrong to me.
    Those who we're supposed to be an example for probably feel ten times stronger than I do, and what type of witness is that?
    Why do something that so easily causes confusion about the role of church in the community and causes questions about whether the church is trying to pull one over on the IRS?

    Uh uh. Ain't right. Can't be.
     
  19. David Lamb

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    I cannot see any biblical example of charging for the presentation of the gospel. Nor do I know of any instance in the New Testament of the gospel being presented as entertainment.

    OK, there was no such thing as rock music at the time of the early church, but there was music, there was poetry, and there was drama. Yet (as far as I know) no genre of entertainment was used in gospel presentation.
     
    #19 David Lamb, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2010
  20. Aaron

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    There were carnal forms that would look much like rock concerts. But the early church used no instruments anyway.

    Yes, and the peformance arts were fully developed and sophisticated.
     

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