Fund-raisers: Modern day money changing or acceptable tool.

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by BCF Jeff, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. BCF Jeff

    BCF Jeff
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    Here's a new one to hash over. Fundraisers!

    I have just begun serving as pastor of an SBC church. The youth group attempted to take orders from the congregation for donuts (from a very popular donut maker with the initials KK.) Before the service a older man (that had been a deacon at another church but is not a deacon in our church) was greeting people before they could even get to the front door by informing them that the youth director had violated scripture by turning the Lord's house into a house of merchandise.

    I have already dealt with the fact that the youth director had not gained permission to hold the particular fundraiser. I have already dealt with the elderly man for complaining and bad mouthing the church and the youth director to worshipers rather than speaking with the leadership of the church or with the youth director personally.

    The question is this:

    Is any form of fund raising (other than tithes and offerings) equal to the merchants and money changers that Jesus expelled from the temple in Jerusalem?
     
  2. TaterTot

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    no

    The merchants in the temple were set up in the only place that Gentiles were allowed to worship. They were conveniently selling animals needed for the sacrifice (if my memory serves me correctly) at raised prices. That would be like setting up a table in the sanctuary at church, and selling hymnals, then requiring that particular hymnal to be used.

    I also dont enjoy fund raisers, but thats not a good biblical basis against them. I dont believe that non-church people should fund church trips, etc, esp fun trips.

    I dont see anything wrong with kids working to earn money for mission trips, etc, though.
     
    #2 TaterTot, Mar 19, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2007
  3. jshurley04

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    Fund-raisers

    Simply put, NO.

    The motivation is night and day from what Christ dealt with in the Temple, they were merchandising for personal profit. When a church does a fund raiser, 99.99% of the time there no personal profit involved and it is going toward a ministry goal, such as to send needy kids to summer camp to learn about Christ in a safe and sheltered enviroment.

    As a pastor I do not have a problem with fund raisers because they usually present a need in a creative way that allows both the membership to be informed, blessed, and to relax their grip on the wallet. I do, however, believe in rules for the fund raisers such as, no fund raising in the auditorium or once they say no leave them alone.
     
  4. Lagardo

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    Good question, Jeff.

    Personally, I don't like fundraisers for a lot of reasons:

    1) No biblical example
    2) Not real efficient
    3) Relying on support from the lost in a time where the lost feel like all a church wants is there money
    4) Takes away the blessing that could result from someone giving
    5) Takes too much time away from ministry

    Just a few reasons.

    However, the example of the money changers is not applicable. I noticed somethgn the gentleman in your church said:

    Jesus did not condemn the people in the temple for turning it into a house of merchandise or for selling or likewise. He said "den of thieves." So unless those wonderful Krispy Kreme donuts (just typing that tempts me off my diet :praying: ), I would say that the two supjects are unrelated.
     
  5. rbell

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    They are not the same. The moneychangers were taking advantage of the worshippers--capitalizing on their need to have a certain type of money, sacrificial animals, what was needed for ceremonial cleansing, etc. I would also take contextually from Jesus' "thieves" comments that they were predatory in their practices, as well as cheapening what the Temple existed for.

    I'm not saying, "oh, that makes all fundraising just fine." But I would address it in other ways as the OP did, rather than use "you're doing what the moneychangers did" as a reason. I don't think that's being quite faithful to the text.

    We do very little fundraising at my church, but there are some occasions. Here are my student ministry's "fundraising principles:"
    • We do not engage in "nothing for something" fundraising. In other words, I'm not gonna ask you to buy a teeny box of candy for $5. If that's my MO, I'm just gonna ask for $5. We try to provide something folks can use, and not be predatory in our pricing. For our Canada mission trip (about 60 high-schoolers going), we're selling camp stew. It's excellent stew, and we'll sell 1300-1500 quarts, and make about $70-90 per kid. For the same reason, I tend to stay away from pledge-based "thon's"--rock-a-thons, etc. They don't usually benefit anyone. The only time I've done these is when we did a "rake-a-thon" or "clean-a-thon" for our community or some needy folks within.
    • (for kids & families) If you want to receive a fundraiser's benefits, you must fulfill all requirements spelled out. Absolutely no exceptions.
    • If there are donations & scholarships for needy kids, I operate "double blind:" no kid will know who helped them, and no adult will know who they helped.
    • We work through our church leadership. No fundraising is done--ever--without permission.
    • We will be economical. I'm not wasting my time gathering 40 kids to each work 4 hours to collectively earn $320 at a carwash. That's $2/hour/kid. Our camp stew requires about 4 hours of work per child, and they will earn roughly $20/hour. Much better.
    • I'm blessed to serve a church that believes in investing in its students. Some churches hamstring their kids by not budgeting enough for them to carry out their ministries.
    • I don't fundraise for Six Flags...but rather for minsitry/missions, and for events that are spiritually focused.
     
  6. BCF Jeff

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    I feel the same as each of you this far. I like rbell's guidelines.

    Is there any Biblical statement against fundraisers.
     
  7. TomVols

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    The church is to be supported via tithes and offerings. I don't like fundraisers at all. We ask youth to sell donuts, calendars, etc., but if the senior adults want to go on a retreat or the deacons want to buy a new coffee pot, no one makes them sell anything. It sends a horrible message.

    While I don't think the "money changer" argument is valid, I do believe that the church's ministry must be financed via tithes and offerings and as such I think fundraisers do not belong. I am not willing to say a church is satanic because they do them, but it's an indictment at best and a compromise at worst. If God's people were faithful in giving or in their thinking about the church's ministry, there would never be a fundraiser because they would never be needed.
     
  8. SBCPreacher

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    If I were to do fundraisers, I would go by rbell's guidelines too. But, this is my main objection: What's the most important thing we're trying to teach our kids? How to live a life that is pleasing to God, that honors Him, or how to raise money? I guess that fundraisers may be necessary (missions trips, student conferences - not fun and games trips), but I do object to trying to get lost folks to fund God's work. I think it's better when the Believers in the church see supporting youth ministry as making an investment in the lives of the young people.

    I also think TomVols is right on the mark.

    There are churches in our area that have one fundraise right after another - they're always asking the community to support them and help them to raise money for this and that. And, they're mainly known, not as lighthouses for the gospel, but "that church that does all those fundraisers." I don't want to be that church!
     
    #8 SBCPreacher, Mar 20, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2007
  9. annsni

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    At our church, there are no fundraisers. We HAVE asked for funds, however, in various ways. We are in the final stages of an addition to the building and we just asked people to pray and give whatever God wants them to. Our pastor even said "If God tells you to give nothing - I do NOT want your money!". We've raised just about enough to finish the project with no financing the project. If we don't have the money to finish it, we won't. If God is in this building project, He can make sure we have the funds for it.

    When students are going on missions trips, they'll just send out letters to their friends and family asking for support - there's nothing in return other than knowing you're helping them to get to where-ever they need to be.

    We DO, however, have a bookstore in our church. It was as a result of people asking for materials and books that we were using/recommending and there not being a Christian bookstore around here for miles. The bookstore basically funds itself - pays for it's employees. IF there is anything leftover from running it, then those funds go to the Missions budget but that doesn't always happen - and it's purpose is NOT to raise money.

    OH! I just thought of ONE thing that does raise money where people get something back - the soda machine in the youth area. You can get a can of soda (Coke line) for $0.50 and anything that gets raised from that goes into scholarships for any youth who can't afford to pay for trips.

    I think that if God is a provider, He can provide for all of our needs in the church through the regular giving and special giving of people. We've seen amazing things happen by NOT doing fund raisers - times where money came in when WE knew the need but no one else did. It's just so cool to see God work and I think by doing fundraisers, you're short changing God.

    Oh - and we've had a time each summer when we do car washes and the community is shocked when they find out that it's free - they ALWAYS want to give us money but we won't take it. LOL!! Watch THOSE faces!!
     
  10. webdog

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    I'm surprised the main difference wasn't pointed out: The money changers didn't have tax exempt status :laugh:
     
  11. go2church

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    No fundraisers. If it is worth doing then the Lord is in it, and if the Lord is in it he will provide.

    Besides, who ends up buying the stupid stuff youth groups sell? The church members - why not just ask them for the money and save everyone the time!
     
  12. annsni

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    Another thing we do for the youth who are in need of money to go on trips - we set up services for them to do - raking, clearing yards, walking dogs - whatever needs to be done. They're not paid for this but earn money towards their trip from the church. So the person getting the work done doesn't pay (it's usually elderly who get it done), but the kid is getting "credit" towards their trip. It works out great. This way it's not just a hand-out but they're learning that you must work in order to get the benefits.
     

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