New Testament Principles of Church Finance - Christian Leadership

By Tyler Simpson,2014-05-17 06:21
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New Testament Principles of Church Finance - Christian Leadership

    Xenos Christian Fellowship

    Christian Leadership 1

    Ecclesiology 2

    Week 4 - New Testament Principles of Church Finance


    XCF history:

    Institutional model need to support salaries, buildings etc.

    We overreacted to the perspective of churches that were so focused on money that

    they lost the central mission of the church.

    We need a balanced view the amount of ministry you can do is connected to


    Pitfalls in the financial arena

    Unethical use of money

    Unstrategic use of money

    Not teaching people to give hinders individual sanctification and what the church

    can do.

    How the church should collect its money

    It should teach Christians the importance of giving and the many biblical reasons

    for giving. Distill the reasons from these passages:

    Philippians 4:18 - Out of gratitude for what God has given us through Christ. The

    image of giving ourselves as a thank-offering in response to God's grace is cited

    in Romans 12:1. Notice that this same image is applied specifically to giving

    money to support God's work in Philippians 4:18. This seems to be the primary

    motivation taught in the Bible.

    Philippians 4:16 - To meet real needs in the name of Christ. In Philippians 4:16,

    Paul says that their financial giving to his missionary work has met his needs.

    Similarly, in 2 Corinthians 9:12, Paul says that the Corinthians' financial giving

    was "fully supplying the needs of the saints." In a very real way, God

    transmutes the money that we give to the church into ministry which meets

    peoples needs. Point out that the new Christian’s dollar goes just as far as the

    experienced Christian’s. Consequently, the new Christian can have an

    immediate impact through giving and evangelism.

    Philippians 4:17 - To experience eternal reward. In Philippians 4:17, Paul says he

    wants them to give, not simply so that he may receive their money, but so that

    they experience "profit in their account." This probably refers to the reward that

    they will receive at the judgment-seat of Christ, when he evaluates our service

    for him as Christians (1 Cor. 3:10-15). In a very real way, we are making an

    investment in our own eternal futures when we give our money to God's work.

    This is one very practical way to "lay up treasure in heaven" (Matthew 6:20).

    Copyright 2006 Xenos Christian Fellowship 1

Philippians 4:19; Matthew 6:33; 2 Corinthians 9:8, 10 - As a way of experiencing

    God's faithfulness to provide for our material needs. Phil. 4:19 makes the

    promise that as we give to support God's work, he will care for our material

    needs. Many passages teach this (Matthew 6:33; 2 Corinthians 9:8,10). God

    invites us to learn experientially about this exciting aspect of his loving care for

    us as we give in this way. Stated differently, it is not possible to say that we are

    trusting God with our finances unless we are giving significantly and

    consistently of our money to his work.

    Luke 12:33,34 - To increase our commitment to God. In Luke 12:33,34, Jesus

    urges us to give of our money to help the poor because "where your treasure is,

    there will your heart be also." This passage is not saying that our giving is an

    index of our commitment (though this is true), but rather that our giving affects

    our level of interest and commitment to God. If we invest in stocks, our interest

    in and commitment to that company will increase. The more we invest in God's

    work, the more our interest in and commitment to God will increase.

    1 Timothy 6:9-10,17-18 - To produce and maintain freedom in our lives. We need

    to be aware of the danger of the love of money. Giving guards off the tentacles

    of materialism. Materialism chokes out spiritual life (Matthew 6:24). The danger

    is subtle because there is not a clear line regarding what kind of car to buy, how

    much to save, and how much to spend on hobbies etc. In 1 Timothy 6:17-18,

    Paul calls on “the rich in this present world… to do good, to be rich in good

    deeds…” because ministry provides fulfillment that money cannot give.

    Romans 15:25-27 - To be morally responsible. Several passages teach that because

    we receive spiritual benefit from God's servants, we are responsible to minister

    to their material needs. Romans 15:27 teaches this principle and applies it extra-

    locally (Gentile Christians should acknowledge their spiritual "debt" to Jewish

    Christians); Galatians 6:6 applies it locally (those taught should share materially

    with those who teach). 1 Timothy 5:17,18 applies it to elders. 1

    Corinthians 9:4-11 applies it to paying apostles. Many of us have wrongly

    dichotomized the idea of grace-motivation with this complementary truth that

    such giving is a moral obligation. Certainly, we should be able to render to God

    what is his, and do it with an attitude of thanksgiving because he is so good to us.

    It should teach people to give generously based on grace and not demand its people

    tithe. (2 Corinthians 8:1-4; Deuteronomy 14:22-27) The tithe was a tax levied on

    Israelites which supported the Levites. There is no evidence that it was prescribed

    for Christians. However, it is not wrong to suggest ten per cent as a rule of thumb

    for what consistent and significant giving means. It is also to be hoped that because

    grace produces a righteousness superior to that produced by law, giving under grace

    will also exceed giving mandated by law.


    See Siders graduated tithe example after you reach a certain level of income, (in

    the 70’s $70,000), you should give the excess away. How can you spend more

    than $70k/year?

    Copyright 2006 Xenos Christian Fellowship 2

FST membership is a requirement for ST and leadership in this church. There is still

    a lot of softness here. We find on a regular basis home group plants that are

    delayed, because a future leader is not giving.

    Requirement for the ST is 5% so that people were not required to give all their

    money to the XCF general fund. Leaves room for missions and other

    worthwhile causes.

    It should be done with sensitivity to the non-Christian (2 Corinthians 2:17;

    2 Thessalonians 3:7-9; 1 Corinthians 9:12). Non-Christians are often suspicious

    about collections because of the existence of so many religious charlatans and

    hucksters. When collections are taken with non-Christians present, we should make

    it clear that giving is an opportunity for Christians to thank and serve God for the gift

    of his Son, and that we do not want our guests to feel obligated in any way to give.

    (2 Corinthians 2:17) For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from

    sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.

    (2 Thessalonians 3:7-9) For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example,

    because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat

    anyone's bread without paying for it, but with labor and hardship we kept working

    night and day so that we might not be a burden to any of you; not because we do

    not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, that

    you might follow our example.

    (1 Corinthians 9:12) If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless,

    we did not use this right, but we endure all things, that we may cause no hindrance

    to the gospel of Christ.

    It should be done in a regular and orderly manner (1 Corinthians 16:1-3). It is

    proper to facilitate consistent individual giving by making reminders in a variety of

    ways, including taking collections on a regular basis. If we don’t do it regularly we

    won’t get it done.

    Collections, pledge program, eft, quarterly reports. Our pledge program is our

    centerpiece (skin). Also allows us to limit our pleas for money.

    How the church should handle its money

    The best understanding of where the money should go can be ruined by unstrategic

    spending or scandal.

    Those who lead in spiritual matters should also lead in financial matters (Acts 4:34-

    37; Acts 11:29,30; 1 Timothy 3:3,8). Often in the church it is a group of

    businessmen that make up the board of trustees and a board of elders elders lead

    spiritually, trustees lead in financial matters.

    (Acts 4:35,37) and lay them at the apostles' feet; and they would be distributed to each,

    as any had need. and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money

    and laid it at the apostles' feet.

    (Acts 11:29,30) And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of

    them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea.

    And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.

    Copyright 2006 Xenos Christian Fellowship 3

(1 Timothy 3:3,8) not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free

    from the love of money. Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-

    tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain,

    Does the FST undermine this principle?

    Preserves the principle of an elder led church. The elders set the base and

    prioritize modules. But at the same time it is providing a way for

    responsible givers to be part of the decision making process (taking


    Pitch FST membership and help promote it to the other members in your home

    group. Make the most of this opportunity by attending and playing your


    What about designated giving?

    Give example - $5 million donation to build a sports facility in South Linden

    What do you think we should do?

    What are the potential problems with designated giving?

    ? Large donors can end up setting the church’s strategy and priorities.

    Our church's strategy and priorities could become subject to the will

    of a few members who give disproportionately more than others.

    Since these givers don't normally see the big picture, they may

    unwittingly neglect basic ministry needs (e.g., utility bills, mortgage

    service) and important priorities in favor of highly visible or

    sentimental projects. Others may not have biblical priorities, calling

    for extravagant facilities, for example, while under-funding youth

    outreach. Still others may even have the carnal desire to use their

    financial power to control others and enhance their own egos rather

    than serve the Lord. We know of no present situation like this in

    Xenos, but we would be naïve not to recognize that this has been

    the tragic legacy in many evangelical churches that permit

    unrestricted designated giving. Whatever the actual motives may be,

    the result is a de facto movement away from an elder-led church to a

    form of congregationalism that is sub-biblical. This is why we need

    informed, spiritually minded elders to set the financial priorities for

    the church.

    ? Elders in some local churches allow virtually unrestricted designated

    giving, but then have to make financial adjustments behind the

    scenes to fund the church's true priorities. For example, a church

    may accept a large gift designated for the children's program, but

    then move money out of that part of the budget into other needed

    areas. They don't want to tell their members how to give their

    money, but they are unwilling to surrender their responsibility to set

    ministry priorities. The result is some degree of dishonesty.

    Wouldn't it be better and more straightforward to tell the giver that

    this money is more needed elsewhere?

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    ? When churches allow widespread designated giving, individual

    members usually begin to solicit money for ministries they feel

    strongly about. The result is that the church loses ministry focus

    and its members begin to feel pestered by so many requests for

    money. We want to avoid both of these problems.

    The church should be above reproach in the way it handles its money.

    Read (2 Corinthians 8:18-24) And we have sent along with him the brother whose

    fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the and not only this, but he

    has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work,

    which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show

    our readiness taking precaution that no one should discredit us in our

    administration of this generous gift; for we have regard for what is honorable, not

    only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. And we have sent with

    them our brother, whom we have often tested and found diligent in many things,

    but now even more diligent, because of his great confidence in you. As for Titus,

    he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are

    messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ. Therefore openly before the

    churches show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about


    Paul sent three Christian workers of excellent reputation and unimpeachable

    character to handle the funds. Doesn’t this seem like over-kill?

    Paul was very aware of the possibility of mishandling funds, or even allowing

    themselves to be in a position where any suspicion could not be easily


    Identify the principle in 8:20,21. With the authority to lead in money matters

    comes the responsibility to handle God’s money in a way that is above

    reproach to both Christian givers and the watching world.

    ANTITHESIS: Many churches and Christian organizations have shamed

    Christ’s reputation by not following this principle (BAKKER; PARSLEY;



    Contrast this to BILLY GRAHAM ASSOCIATION. When they were accused

    of mishandling funds in the early 1970’s, they were able to refute all


    We have an obligation to handle this money in a way that is totally above-board and


    Xenos’ application of this principle:

    ? Character requirements for those who handle money

    ? No one is left alone (counting collection money; deposits; double-

    signature on checks)

    ? Open books:

    ? Frugal/no waste ethic: staff salary policy (ranges & levels at or below

    comparable secular positions; division coordinator’s frugality (get job

    Copyright 2006 Xenos Christian Fellowship 5

    done but come in under budget where possible, versus “spend it all or get

    your budget decreased next year” mentality of government agencies);

    willingness to fire because of financial waste

    What the church should do with its money

    It should pay its key workers, especially teaching elders (1 Timothy 5:17,18;

    Galatians 6:6; Luke 10:7).

    1 Timothy 5:17,18 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor,

    especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says,


    laborer is worthy of his wages."

    Galatians 6:6 And let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who


    Luke 10:7 "And stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the

    laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. What happens if we neglect this principle?

    Teaching ministry of the church will suffer. People will not be equipped to lead.

    It should pay for evangelistic and missionary work, including logistical expenses for

    meetings and training (Acts 18:5; Philippians 4:15,16; 1 Corinthians 9:4-11).

    (Acts 18:5) But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began

    devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus

    was the Christ.

    (Phil 4:15) And you yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the

    gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of

    giving and receiving but you alone;

    1 Cor 9:4-11) Do we not have a right to eat and drink? Do we not have a right to take

    along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles, and the brothers of the

    Lord, and Cephas? Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from

    working? Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a

    vineyard, and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use

    the milk of the flock? I am not speaking these things according to human judgment,

    am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? For it is written in the Law of


    not concerned about oxen, is He? Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes,

    for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the

    thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. If we sowed spiritual things in you,

    is it too much if we should reap material things from you? Examples: a place for CT, buildings, missionary assessments (WIN, RACE), (70%

    through XCF individuals, 20% outside, 10% through XCF general fund)

    It should give to the needs of the Christian and Non-Christian poor (Galatians 6:10;

    Luke 10:30-37; Matthew 19:21; Acts 11:27-30; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2

    Corinthians 8-9).

    (Galatians 6:10) So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and

    especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

     (Luke 10:30) Jesus replied and said, "A certain man was going down from Jerusalem

    to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and

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    went off leaving him half dead. "And by chance a certain priest was going down on

    that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. "And likewise a

    Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

    "But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he

    saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds,

    pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to

    an inn, and took care of him. "And on the next day he took out two denarii and

    gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you

    spend, when I return, I will repay you.'"Which of these three do you think proved to

    be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?" And he said, "The one

    who showed mercy toward him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same."

    (Matthew 19:21) Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your

    possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and

    come, follow Me."

    We cover this material in Christian Ministry.


    (Proverbs 13:23) Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor, But it

    is swept away by injustice. Poor need help to develop their resources.

    (Proverbs 14:21) He who despises his neighbor sins, but happy is he who is

    gracious to the poor. Despises = contempt, disrespects, argue that this

    includes ignoring as well.

    (Proverbs 14:31) He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he

    who is gracious to the needy honors Him. Oppresses = deceive, defraud,

    reproaches = defies God

    (Proverbs 9:17) He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, And

    He will repay him for his good deed. Repay = benefit, reward, see Matt.


    (Proverbs 21:13) He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will also cry

    himself and not be answered. Sobering reminder…

    (Proverbs 22:9) He who is generous will be blessed, For he gives some of his

    food to the poor. Giving of our abundance (Proverbs 28:27) He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who

    shuts his eyes will have many curses. Shuts = veils from sight, ignore the


    (Proverbs 29:7) The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, The

    wicked does not understand such concern. Appropriate response to help

    the poor

    The term “the poor” does not refer to people who are unwilling to work.

    (2 Thessalonians 3:6-10)

    Xenos’ Strategy for Social Ministry

    Focus on projects that effect permanent socio-economic change

    Bread line vs. developing long-term economic change

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    Meeting immediate needs should be part of an overall strategy to effect

    permanent change in the community.

    Examples: S.E. Asia ADI, education HCS, UC - job club

    Goal should be self-sustaining over decades

    We should do this work overtly as Christians.

    Social ministry should go hand in hand with evangelism and church


    Many social problems have spiritual and moral causes that need addressed

    at the same time we meet the physical needs

    We should direct our resources to the areas of greatest need

    Poverty is much worse in foreign countries

    Should be done in conjunction with world missionary outreach

    Work in Java Asian Development Institute

    We should accept limitations in the size of the area and the number of

    people we help for the sake of effecting real change.

    We might have to say no to some projects.

    Otherwise, our effect can become diluted in our chosen community

    Example: Boundaries of Urban Concerns work


    What is the greatest danger for this church and your individual spiritual life?

    Materialism! Materialism can derail use from accomplishing the central mission

    of the church. We live in an unbelievable affluent materialistic culture. The desire

    for more pervades our environment. We’re tempted much of the time. No one is

    free from this danger! Stand against materialism by building convictions and

    giving generously!

    Memory Verses



     Study passages on God’s part in ministry and distill the principles in your own words.

    Key Points to Know for Exam

    1. Be familiar with the seven biblical reasons for being a generous financial giver.

    2. Be able to explain why the elders should have the authority to lead in financial

    matters of the local church.

    Copyright 2006 Xenos Christian Fellowship 8

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