Every so often I will get a call from a marketing firm telling me about the latest and greatest fundraising gimmick for the church. I’ll politely listen and the first chance I get I will inform them we don’t do fundraisers. I’ve had a few doubt my claim. If I can, I say we follow the biblical pattern of willful giving by members on the first day of the week to provide funds for church work. People give as they can and no effort is made to “guilt” them into doing it (2nd Corinthians 9:6-7, 1st Corinthians 16:1-2).
I can see why they get confused. Drive down the street, walk into the Wal-Mart or flip thru the channels, and you will see various religious groups asking, selling, and begging anyone and everyone for money. Bake sales, carwashes, concerts, donate buttons on the website, raffles, entry fees for church functions, are all bits I've seen in just the last few months. It seems the biggest push for some “churches” is to fill the treasury from outside sources.
To quote James, “My brethren, these things ought not to be this way”. The church does need money to operate but to go beyond the Scripture to get it is error (2nd John 1:9). The world does not need to be funding the church; Christians need to be giving to do so. Rather than begging those outside the body, we should be more concerned about becoming a body of cheerful givers that God loves. Giving should be a privilege, not a guilt trip. We might make people give more if we cram it down their throats but we won’t be engaged in Biblical activity.
I don’t fault organizations that are outside the church for doing everything they can to raise funds keep up their good works, but for the church we need to be different. The world is growing sick of the religions that care more for silver than they do souls. The true church should stand out in this regard. Our financing should be as simple and pure as the New Testament teaches.