The church has always been known for her benevolence. From the earliest days when believers shared their positions to their treatment of orphans and widows I believe where the church has gotten Jesus the most is in her benevolence. The church is a giving church. The church is a sacrificial church. People know her for her generosity. She is the Proverbs 31 women in congregational form.

One of the questions that I think is helpful to ask of a congregation is, if this church died and shut the doors, would anyone notice. I believe the answer to that question is typically, yes. I am not saying every church has it together but I do believe that we mostly get generosity right. In the churches I have attended and ministered at, I have seen countless instances of people meeting the needs of strangers as well as other Christians. Since people don’t talk about their private good works, it is hard to gauge how much private acts of meeting needs takes place but my theory is that in any given congregation, the amount of assistance that is given out by the congregation privately far exceeds the budgeted money.

Churches forgo many things in order to maintain a benevolent spirit. I believe this is one of the things we have gotten right and I believe it is a beautiful thing that continues to make the bride of Christ gorgeous.

How has your congregation shown her benevolent spirit?

5 Responses

    1. That is often what is budgeted but that doesn’t mirror the actual state of things in the actual outflow toward real people and real needs. I have seen more and more churches try to even out (50/50 or better) money spent on themselves and money spent outward on others. That is a worthwhile effort.

      1. Matt, I remember there was an effort called “relational tithing” wherein folks figured their 10%, but bypassed the church coffers (and, notably, the tax write off) and gave alms directly to folks in need. Very NT.

      2. I am aware of that “unknown” flow. We have “special collections” from time to time, and depending on the need, there is almost 20% of our annual budget that is given.

        Proud as I am of those times, the image that almost 4/5 of a congregational budget goes into salaries still does not match the Biblical model for spending group funding! No matter how I approach it, there are money spent on needs of others, supporting missionaries, some elders – and that is it. No building funds. No salaries “commensurate education and experience, housing available, benefits possible; College degree preferred, Master degree will be better.”

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