Money, Missions, And Ministry

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It is shocking how much some churches are willing to spend on buildings, all in the name of “ministry.” When I lived in Texas, it was reported that one mega-church in downtown Dallas spent close to $50 million to construct a new “ministry” building. They said it would help them better reach the residents and people of downtown Dallas. Truly, I hope it is money well spent, and I wish them well.

But I often wonder what that $50 million could have bought in Africa or Papua New Guinea. If they answer by saying they were trying to reach the people in Dallas, then I wonder how many meals for homeless people in Dallas that $50 million could have bought? If they answer that they were trying to build a place for people to come for education and instruction so they could better their lives and get a good meal, then I have to ask why the building has “clever accessories” (that’s their term) along with 9000 square feet of exterior glass, state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, wi-fi hotspots, beautiful stain-glass windows, comfy couches and lounge chairs, etc.

Don’t misunderstand. I am not condemning mega-churches. I have attended mega-churches in the past. Many mega-churches are doing a lot of good in their communities and around the world with spreading the gospel. I just wonder if all of us (big churches and small churches alike) could be a little wiser with our money.

I wonder if this church in Dallas could have built their building for about $10 million less, and sent the extra $10 million overseas to plant about 2000 churches (It costs around $6000 to build a church in Africa). OR, what if they said to their donors, “This building will cost $50 million, but we need to raise $100 million so we can build churches overseas as well”? 

If you can really, honestly say that you need a $50 million building to accomplish the mission God has given you in Dallas, then I say “build away!” It’s not what I would do with $50 million, but if it is truly what you believe God has called you to do, go for it.

American churches are the richest churches in the world. If our primary use of the funds God has given us is to construct bigger and nicer buildings for ourselves and our “ministry,” Jesus will not be pleased with us when we stand before him at the Judgment Seat. So what does your church budget look like? What does your church raise funds for? Whose kingdom are you building?

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