Financial Stewardship Grid/Vision for a Local Fellowship
Remembering God’s Priorities System
- People - His people first, then the world - Gal. 6:10; John 17:9; Matt. 25:40,45
- Geographically – Acts 1:8 – Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, then the utter most parts of the earth.
- Divine Principle & Directive: Take good care of those men who do the most important work on earth - they worship and serve Him full-time and watch for the souls of His beloved people in prayer, the Word, rebuke, maturing and fruitfulness (Acts 6:1-7; 2 Tim. 3:15-4:5; Eph. 4:11-12). All suffer when they are shorted - Deut. 12:19; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 Cor. 9.
One might say that this seems pragmatic, but is it not biblical? Need we pray and be “led of the Spirit” to the point that we do not acknowledge what the Holy Spirit of God has already given us in His Word? See 2 Peter 1:20-21 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Deuteronomy 29:29; 1 Corinthians 2:12-13.
Below is a possible revenue flow model to begin a local fellowship – to honor God according to HIS Word - seeking to follow the wisdom of His kingdom priorities.
The pie is 100% - percentages can be adjusted, this is a possible model, attempting to align with the divine plan. The attempt is to exercise kingdom priorities as revealed and recorded in the Holy Scriptures. As we saw above, it seems that many local churches do not exercise biblical priorities when stewarding the revenues coming into their local body of believers. The LORD reveals His priorities to us in His Word and we should diligently adhere to His wisdom.
- Local evangelism – 15% (to support several diligent witnesses and a Gospel tract ministry, etc.)
- Benevolence for local believers – 10% (hardship needs for God’s people, etc. – Matt. 25:40,45)
- The Poor (support genuine local ministries who do this type serving) – 10%
- Other authentic ministries in America – 5% (possibly rotate monthly to various genuine ministry works)
- Foreign Missions – 5%
- Administrative – 5% - administrative servant, printing costs, postage, etc.
- Future Physical facility fund – 10%
- Head elder (Acts 6:4) - 15% (tent make until amount becomes livable – or whenever he feels he needs to be full-time if he does – Acts 6:4; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 Cor. 9)
- 1 (to begin with) other mature preaching elder (1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 Cor. 9) – 10% (tent make until amount becomes livable – or whenever he feels he needs to be full-time if he does)
- Auxiliary fund 15% – to be prayerfully decided upon by elders as they seek the LORD – possibly to be used when another preaching elder(s) is set forth by the Spirit (1 Tim. 5:17)
In local gatherings already established, I think it wise to reconstruct current revenue flow to align with the LORD’s priorities. For those who may be being led to begin a new fellowship for saints, this could be a real good way to lay the foundational grid up front.
Jesus Is Coming to take account of every penny of our stewardship. See Matthew 25; Luke 12,16.
Wise Kingdom Givers
The LORD is calling for the launching and financial support of ministers and ministries for the advancement of His kingdom. He is not pleased with the waste of money on temporal physical buildings, CEO salaries, unbiblical church programs, and the myriad of irresponsible spending and waste that goes on in the modern visible church. As a member of the body of Christ, we should understand and see that God’s kingdom is a “spiritual house” and not a physical building (1 Pet. 2:5). To His own, Jesus said that the LORD’s kingdom is “within you.” (Lk. 17:21) There are numerous other unnecessary expenditures that are the result of the physical buildings - light bills, electric bills, janitors, supplies, repair, upkeep, remodeling, etc. ….. To a large degree, it seems that the vast majority of the financial love offerings of God’s people are absorbed into a building and a bureaucracy. Also, the people – who make up the real church – are being pigeon holed into a central meeting place without launching and mobilizing them for ministry, which is the divine mandate placed upon leaders - to mature all Christians they oversee to do ministry (Eph. 4:11-12).
Going a Little Deeper
“The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21
The Greek word that “observation” comes from here is parateresis which means inspection, ocular evidence. God’s kingdom is within the saint in the earth and so His children do not need to look with their physical eyes for it to come. King-dom = domain of Jesus the King. Whereever He reigns, His kingdom has come.
I believe the LORD is calling His people to defund the hirelings who have built their little church building nest and are absorbing billions of dollars of the money of God’s people for their own selfish gain. Regrettably, so many people do not peer into the Word and look beyond their own immediate comfort to see what is really going on.
Most of our minds have been well trained by enterprising pastors to bring money to their church building on Sunday mornings. This allows a nice comfortable place for us to be entertained for an hour weekly….. All local churches that meet in a separate building are not operating this way, yet it seems the majority are in this hour of apostasy.
Kingdom Proposal - at any time (don’t wait till Sunday or when you are inside a physical building), write a check or carry cash to a true servant of Christ so their lives and families can be sustained to do the most important work on the earth – the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the hearts of men. The time is short beloved. Pray daily for the true servants of Christ around you to be able to be full-time in the care of souls, fastings and pray and the ministry of the Word.
I remember when I owned my own company - a Christian business directory here in the Dallas area. Checks of varying amounts would come in to the business. Having been blessed to understand “firstfruit” principle or truth, I would call one of my friends who did ministry and would ask them to meet me somewhere in the vicinity in which we lived. I would then give them a portion of the amount of money that had come in to the company that day. Would you mind if I shared a personal testimony? – Knowing God’s plan for His kingdom furtherance and economy, it felt good inside to immediately or expediently release those funds into the hands of men who were laboring in caring for the body of Christ and to win souls.
Unfortunately, the hoards of hirelings have made their church buildings the “official’ place to give. God doesn’t limit our giving to a certain building - He says to give the offerings where the Word/meat is being brought forth (Mal. 3:8-11; Gal. 6:6).
Instead of focusing on furnishing the hearts of men with the Word and character of Jesus, the hireling further furnishes and embellishes his own church palace.
Always keep in mind that we must live by God’s Word and see things the way He sees them. His kingdom is not limited to any man’s church building. Jesus Christ made all things for His own pleasure (Col. 1:15-17; Rev. 4:11). To the true servant of Christ, the whole world is his pulpit and mission field – he doesn’t hypocritally wait till he is conducting a church service/program to serve others and communicate the Gospel. In contrast, the hireling has his staged profession with no passion for lost souls or to perpetually declare God’s Word to all, everywhere he happens to be.
“Go ye into all the world...” (Mk. 16:15) The spread of God’s kingdom in the hearts of men is the worthy cause which true believers are to support and also to cease funding all who are not doing such in their daily lives. Anyone can stage a ministry - true disciples live to serve and minister. For example, most leaders today do not do personal evangelism, nor do they care about those they speak to on Sunday mornings -and yet they have the luxury of passing a basket (taking up offerings weekly). When do we see those who are supposed to “watch for your souls” calling their sheep on the phone for a moment to ask how one is doing and asking to lift up a prayer or share a Scripture to encourage? (Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:1-6) Of the false shepherds cited in Jeremiah 23, the LORD says they “have not visited them.” (Jer. 23:2) In other words, their shepherds, like many today, were too busy playing golf or sporting around to care for them. Such a person is not “given to hospitality, apt (capable, ready) to teach.” (1 Tim. 3:2)
“For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.” Jeremiah 10:21
As we partake in His true Gospel program, will our Father in Heaven not reward each the giver and the goer for eternity? Let’s fund the true Gospel saints and those who genuinely live and spread it! Jesus told us: “And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” (John 4:36)
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