Money

How Ministry Was Funded in the Old Testament, Part 2

Funded in the Old Testament

Luke is a gifted preacher and speaker. Some of the biggest summer camps book him years in advance, and large churches love to invite him to present at conferences.

In the early years of his preaching ministry he would only receive honorariums as a free gift that churches might give him to help cover expenses. But now he receives more requests than he can commit to. At one point an old pastor told him that he needed to think about charging upfront for speaking engagements. His family agreed that this was a wise idea, and after considering it prayerfully, Luke began making it clear that he would require X amount in payment in addition to all of his travel expenses before agreeing to speak at an event. At first he didn’t like how this exchange felt, especially when smaller, likable churches couldn’t afford what he asked. But as the money started to flow, after a while he got used to it.

Once in a while when Luke has quieted his heart and is out on an evening walk with God, conflicted sentiments crowd his thoughts, and his conscience wonders whether he’s doing the right thing by putting a price tag on sharing what God has freely given him.” –Adapted from SellingJesus.org

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Money

How Ministry Was Funded in the Old Testament, Part 1

Ministry Was Funded

James is a worship leader. When he was single he wrote some of his best worship songs in the evenings while working at a bookstore to make ends meet. His heart’s passion is to serve the Church with Bible-saturated, God-centered, beautiful music that will point people to Christ. In the days of MySpace he was happy to post his songs for free for people to stream, and some of them started going viral. Eventually a Christian record label approached him and laid out a plan to turn his passion into a ‘career.’

Now James leads worship events for large conferences and usually charges an upfront fee of tens of thousands of dollars for each event. His songs are now sung in churches around the world and bring in a steady stream of income through royalties and CCLI. His recordings are no longer free to listen to, but every now and then he’ll release one at no cost to download, which makes him feel good that he has done his part to be generous.

James has been deceived by the ‘professionals’ into believing that the worship of God can be sold as a commodity. He also has bought into the lie that reaching large numbers of people means that God must automatically approve of the way one is doing ministry.” –Adapted from SellingJesus.org

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Money, Priesthood

The Worker Is Worthy of His Wages

Wages

Susan writes Bible studies for women and does speaking tours around the USA. She is the founder of Living Water Ministries, and reaches millions of women with her events and books.

Her latest Bible study of Philippians is called The Surpassing Worth of Knowing Jesus, and you can buy the digital workbook for $20. Conference tickets to her Philippians study tour are $85 for adults. Live streaming tickets are also available, but if you live within a 150 mile radius of where the conference will be held, you are not allowed to stream the event. The streaming cost for a small group of up to twelve people is $125. If you have more than twelve, you must pay $20/additional attendee. Once you purchase the streaming access, the video recordings will be available to you for only 30 days after the event. You can own the digital download of the entire five-session study of Philippians for $50. The ministry website also has the option to give a donation.

Susan has never thought about an alternative way to do what she does. She grew up around the selling of ministry, and in her circles no one has ever questioned it.” –Adapted from SellingJesus.org

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Money

Freely You Have Received

Freely

In my previous article I mentioned that we Christians are doing something that “distorts our message, undermines our credibility, and leaves us slaves to a master we aren’t aware we are serving.” What are we doing to shoot ourselves and our message in the foot? We have commercialized Christianity. Jesus said, “Freely you have received; freely give” (Matt. 10:8), but we aren’t giving freely. We’ve found ways to make money from the gospel. It’s so ingrained in our culture we don’t even recognize we are disobeying Jesus. While we may be nearly oblivious to this “pulpit capitalism,” you may be assured that those outside the church see it very clearly.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Money

Chasing Money: Trading Peace for Pennies

Money

Though centuries of wisdom scream against it, money remains our modern idol. In the time that has elapsed since Paul wrote to Timothy, people have written volumes about the dangers of the love of money. Adding my voice is probably redundant.

Nevertheless, I have recently been made aware of a money problem which festers in the Western church like cancer. This silent scourge distorts our message, undermines our credibility, and leaves us slaves to a master we may not be aware we are serving.

I’ll elaborate on this later, but first let’s heed the wisdom of the Scripture lest this insidious problem grows worse.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in 1 Timothy, Money