Question:

Good afternoon, Brother Hamilton:

You were very kind to answer a question for me a few years back; and your answer gave me such clarity. I'll be ever-grateful for your guidance.

I have another question with which I'm struggling. It regards funding for church-related projects. Our elders have established a pledge drive for a church school and daycare center; but, based on operating expenses for comparable schools in our area, the school project is not sustainable through the sole use of the weekly contribution authorized by Scripture. My guess is that the current drive is only the beginning of many additional appeals for money from the church members. The members aren't in a position to give considerably over and above our already generous contributions. Is it reasonable — or even scriptural — to ask church members to sustain ambitious projects that aren't directly related to the church in and of itself, and cannot possibly be supported by the weekly contributions?

Thanks for any light you can shed on this issue.


Answer:

You ask one question, but the problem is rooted in something more fundamental. Where in the Bible do you find God asking the church to operate a school or a daycare? Where in the mission of the church could such be justified? See: The Church Treasury for information on what the church was commanded to do with its funds.

It doesn't matter if it is seen as a "good work." Schools can be operated by individuals and such is encouraged by God. But general education is not the responsibility of the church. The care of children is the responsibility of the home and again that is something individual Christians can offer to help their brethren, but it is not a task of the church. See: Individual Duty or Local Church Duty? and But It Is a Good Work!

Thanks Jeffrey,

You've confirmed my suspicions. This appears to be an ambitious project that seeks "bigness in the eyes of men" vs. the biblically authorized work of the church.

I appreciate your candid answer.