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Hello, I’m the Rev. Ortiz, and this is the study: How to Finance a Church.
Over the years, thousands of you have watched my videos and have learned that God’s tithe has absolutely nothing to do with our income. In light of this fact, a few of you have expressed concerns about how to finance a church. Thus, with the help of my accounting degree, I’ve prepared this study to answer your questions.
But before I begin, I want to make it clear that Jesus NEVER used the word church to refer to a building. He only used the word church to refer to us, His followers. We’re the ones that have changed the meaning of the word church so that it also refers to buildings. But if having a building were a necessary part of the church, then Jesus would’ve built a church building, because Jesus was a carpenter by trade. In spite of having this ability, Jesus did NOT build a building for the church. Nor did He tell us to start building. On the contrary, when Jesus was told about the temple buildings He said, “Not one stone will be left on another.” Matthew 24:2b. And when Peter said, “Let us put up three shelters…” (Mark 9:5) Jesus ignored him.
Jesus knew that if a building became a requirement for the church, then God’s children would be burdened with the costs necessary to maintain a brick and mortar structure. He also knew that we would start accumulating treasures here on Earth. Unfortunately, we have overlooked this lesson, and like Martha we too have become “worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed”—God’s Word. (Luke 10:41-42a)
This might come as a surprise to you, but God never established worship buildings. The only structure God requested was the portable Tabernacle, also known as the tent of meeting. Aside from the sacred portable tent, the Israelites were told to worship in their houses at the start of every Sabbath. The idea of a Temple came from King David—not God. It was the Jews that wanted a Temple and it was the Jews that later built Synagogues on their own accord.
Although Jesus did not establish a church building, I do believe that He agrees with our idea of having church buildings, in the same way that God accepted the ideas of a Temple and Synagogues. That said, I now present to you five easy ways to finance a church without turning God’s Holy Tithe into a scam.
First we have the Synagogue method. The Jews have a long standing relationship with the Almighty, longer than any other ethnic group on Earth, and they do not tithe their income. So if what they’re doing has kept synagogues open for thousands of years, then it will work for us too. Ecclesiastes 5:4-7 speaks of the promises made to support synagogues. At the start of each year, those willing and able, make a freewill promise to support their synagogue. In addition to promises, the Jews also collect offerings. In Luke 21:1-4 Jesus observed that the widow gave more. This means that the Jewish offerings are also freewill. These two sources of income support synagogues all around the world.
Next we have the House Church method. This is the same method used by the Primitive/Apostolic Church. As the name implies, these believers worshiped in private houses. The Bible does not mention any intention to acquire a church building, therefore the first Christians were content to worship in their homes. According to 1st Corinthians 16:2, on the first day of every week a freewill love offering is collected based on how the Lord has blessed each member. And with that, these believers have done away with the overhead costs of maintaining a building. They can now direct their love offerings to the needs of the poor. An online search will allow you to see that there are many house churches today.
The third form of church financing is the Amish method. The Amish do not tithe, nor do they collect a weekly offering. Instead they give alms twice a year, and give freely whenever a need arises. Search as you may but you will never find an Amish church building. That’s because our Amish brothers and sisters have been worshiping in houses for hundreds of years. But instead of designating one house to hold all their worship services in, they use all of the houses within their community. Every week, a different house is designated to serve as the house church of the week. In this way the burden of preparation and clean-up is shared by everyone.
This brings us to the fourth method of church financing which I call the Christian Transparency Method. In this method, all expenses are presented to the church for approval, and even voted on if necessary. Then we simply take the total monthly expenses, less the weekly offerings, and let the church know the amount required to keep the church afloat. The transparency method works, because when Christians are allowed to see the needs of their church, they give. The only obstacle this method has is that money-loving pastors do NOT want church members to see where their hard earned money is going.
My last form of church finance is a combination of any of these four methods. We shouldn’t limit ourselves to only one of the financial methods. As Christians we should use all available tools to promote the Gospel. What we shouldn’t do is lie about God’s tithe. Doing the wrong thing for the right reasons doesn’t work with God. Remember, Abraham tried to help God’s plan by having a child with the slave woman, and we all know how that ended.
Lying about God’s Word is a very serious matter. Especially when pastors are doing it to exploit the poor in spirit. Those that continue the modern practice of making a fraudulent scheme out of God’s Holy Tithe will soon discover that, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:31.
If you find this study useful, please share it with others so we can get these churches financed.
And remember, God loves you, not your money.
Thank you for listening. Until next time, God bless you.