They Just Want Your Money

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Many thoughts buzzing
All around inside my head.
Will try to make sense.

Bad Haiku
Luke 10/17/08

I've heard the following sentiment multiple times recently: The church just wants my money, so I don't go anymore. They're a business, not about relationship or life change.

I once heard a speaker at camp say: In that case, you should not go to a baseball game, or buy a car, or spend money on food because all they want is your money.

But, yes, the church as an institution is a non-profit organization--a business. Sonlight is a for-profit organization--a business. The same is true of Zondervan, Fireproof, and even Mission India... they all want your money.

The operable word here, then, is just. Is money the only thing that the church is about? Is that the only thing that Sonlight, or your local bookstore, is about? How about Amazon? Your bank? The government?

I can assure you that all of those entities want your money (some will take it, regardless). But what do they do with that money? I don't know what Amazon does with it, but I know what Sonlight does with much of the money. The same is true of your church: You should be able to see what they are spending the money on. As a non-profit, they are required to have open books.

But even if your church, as an entity, only wanted your money, is that wrong? Is church, the institution, why we attend on Sundays?


We visit the church, the entity's building, so we can participate in church, the gathering of believers. And we participate in church, the gathering, so that we, as a church, can bond, grow, and minister. If your ministry (the third definition of church) was only about money, you have a problem. If the church gathering is only about money, you have a problem. But if the entity that makes the other two possible is only about money, I don't think that's wrong. ...because, honestly, the entity is about making the other two possible through the money.

Which brings us to the clincher:


I'm currently growing in the area of giving, and I have a long way to go, but I hope to one day be as generous as my parents.

Why do you want money? It's certainly not just to have it. And if you aren't using the resources you have--be it money, talents, or connections--are you really about life change and relationships? Because the only way that church (the ministry) is going to be about those things if you, a member of the church (gathering), make it so.

Sobering thoughts.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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