DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I get turned off by preachers who constantly beg for money. Our church started a big building campaign a few months ago, and I’m tired of them asking for money. Jesus didn’t beg people for money, did he? — A.R.
DEAR A.R.: No, Jesus didn’t beg for money or demand that people support him financially; when he was put to death, all he had were the clothes on his back. On one occasion, Jesus said, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).
At the same time, God’s work requires financial support, and the Bible urges us to be as generous and sacrificial as possible. Even Jesus’ little band of disciples required finances; the Bible mentions several women who supported them out of gratitude for his ministry (Luke 8:1-3). However, I understand your concern, and it might be helpful for you to share it with those who have responsibility for your church’s finances.
Learn as much as you can about the project your church is planning. It may, for example, enable your church to reach out more effectively to young people or others in your community. A church building should never be a monument, but a tool for reaching its community for Christ.
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However, I also urge you to examine honestly your own motives in this. Are you praying for your church and its leaders, and are you burdened for the spiritual needs of your community? Or is money more important to you than Christ and his work? Put Christ first, and then ask him to help you use the resources he has given you for his glory. Take seriously the Bible’s warning: “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or visit www.billygraham.org.
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