MOST CHURCHES that I have known made it part of each month’s financial business to provide a monetary statement of affairs to the members. I am afraid we sometimes regard these records as profit-and-loss statements and think we are making progress when there is more in the treasury at the end of a period than at its beginning. This might be a natural way to think (we are products to such an extent of our environment), but it is wrong.
The Christian’s money, including what is pooled as a “church treasury,” belongs to the Lord. What he has financially is to be viewed as a gift from God, and comes under the Lord’s teaching on stewardship. The church is not in business to make money. We are here to be good stewards. We have a job to do. The only measure of success, so far as God is concerned, is the extent to which we do what we should be doing.
Other articles in this book deal with the matter of evangelism and with its importance in the life of the church. It is a sign of spiritual awareness and development when a church invests its funds in preaching the gospel to those who have never heard it. That is what evangelism is all about, and what the church should be about. If it were not for the task of evangelizing the world (and evangelism means to announce the message, not necessarily to make converts), there would really be little cause for the church to exist, so far as the teaching of the New Testament is concerned.
Each member of Christ’s body should do some serious thinking about his personal stewardship. Each should give prayerful consideration to his own giving. Giving should not be measured by the gifts of other Christians, but by the gift of Calvary. In this light, most of us find room for improvement.
Judgment is coming, if the Word of God is true. Most people in the world don’t know it and, consequently, are not prepared for it. We do know it. God expects us to tell the rest. This is the mission of the church-it’s as simple as that.
There is no merit in “keeping house” for the Lord. Jesus once told of a man who tried that. He ended with seven devils in residence. The man had not learned the lesson that spiritual nature also abhors a vacuum. Stewards are either faithful or unfaithful. There is no middle ground.
Let us go forward in love for God and lost souls. Let our work prove our faith! It is time to act, if we are to act at all. May God give His people faith to step out, hope to trust Him, love to season their efforts, courage not to give up, and the kind of sincerity to be doers of the word and not hearers only. Satan is counting on us to do none of these. Will we please him or the Lord Jesus Christ?
The church is a not-for-profit organization. It prepares for the future by good stewardship now.