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How to Raise Money for Ministry
by Segun Olumide
11/02/2014 / Church Life
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1 GUIDANCE FOR PASTORS ABOUT RIGHT WAYS OF RAISING MONEY
CHAPTER 2HOW AN EVANGELIST CAN RAISE MONEY FOR HIS MINISTRY
CHAPTER 3WRONG WAYS OF RAISING MONEY
CHAPTER 4SEVEN THINGS ABOUT CARNAL METHODS OF RAISING MONEY
GUIDANCE FOR PASTORS ABOUT RIGHT WAYS OF RAISING MONEY
Now let's talk about the different types of giving or offering that agrees with the New Testament pattern of the church.
Tithe is 10 per cent of one's income or money or material blessing. Tithes came before the law (Gen 14:20).
Tithes were effective under the law (Deut 12:6, 11). Tithes continues after the law under grace (Mat 23:23).
As a minister I was concerned because some of the church members did not take tithe as something important. One of the staunch church members saw it as giving left-over to God.
So I taught them about it and even brought a another minister from outside to speak on the subject.
Still this precious staunch member refuse to see the significance of it until I began to pray that God will open the eyes of their understanding to see the truth of this subject.
Then the breakthrough came. He told that he had just understood or began to understand tithing. So God change the man forever. Glory to God!
Every pastor should not only teach tithing and offering but also pray that the people's eyes of understanding be opened and that God will give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation knowledge of Christ (please see Ephesians 1:17-18).
Tithes should be used to take good care of ministers, widows, orphans and strangers, but widows and orphans who have relations that can take care of them should not border the church. Also young widows can remarry (Deut 26:12; 1Tim 5:3-16).
2. GENERAL OFFERING
God said in Malachi 3:8 (NLT): "You have cheated me of the tithes and OFFERINGS due to me."
3. THANKSGIVING OFFERING
In Ps 50:23 (NIV) God says: "He who sacrifices THANK OFFERINGS honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."
We must give all types of offering to God in proportion to how he has blessed us (Deut 16:10, 17).
4. FIRSTFRUIT OFFERING
God told the Israelites to celebrate, "the feast of harvest, the FIRSTFRUITS of thy labour" (Exo 23:16).
Then He explained it in verse 19: "THE FIRST OF THE FIRSTFRUITS of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God."
The Hebrew word translated 'first' in verse 19 above is the word 'reshiyth' which means 'choicest; the first, in place, time, order or rank; beginning' according to Strong's Dictionary.
So God was telling them to bring the choicest of the firstfruits of their land to Him.
The New International Version (NIV) reads: "Bring the BEST of the FIRSTFRUITS of your soil to the house of the LORD your God" (vs 19).
The New Living Translation (NLT) says: "As you harvest your crops, bring the VERY BEST OF THE FIRST HARVEST to the house of the LORD your God" (vs 19).
The same message was repeated in Ezekiel 44:30, "And the FIRST of all the FIRSTFRUITS of all things, shall be the priest's ye shall also give unto the priest the FIRST of your dough, that he may cause the blessing to rest in thine house."
The word "first" used twice in this verse above means "choicest" because it is the same Hebrew word used in Exodus 23:19 discussed earlier.
The NIV renders Ezekiel 44:30 thus: "The BEST OF ALL THE FIRSTFRUITS and belong to the priest. You are to give them the FIRST PORTION of your ground meal so that a blessing may rest on your household."
You see, God commanded them to bring their firstfruits, then he specified the best of their firstfruits, implying NOT ALL THEIR FIRSTFRUITS.
Let's take a deep look at Proverbs 3:9, "Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase."
NIV says, "Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops."
It did not say, "Honour the LORD with ALL YOUR WEALTH (SUBSTANCE), and with ALL THE FIRSTFRUITS of all your crops (increase)."
The only way you can honour the LORD is to give him the choicest or best of your firstfruits and quality offering from your wealth.
Interestingly, the Hebrew word for "firstfruits" in Prov 3:9 is the same word used for "first" in Exo 23:19 which means "choicest, first, beginning."
So Prov 3:9 can read, "Honour the LORD with your wealth and with the choicest of all your crops."
FIRSTFRUIT OFFERING BEGAN BEFORE THE LAW
"And Abel, he also brought of the FIRSTLINGS OF HIS FLOCK and OF THE FAT THEREOF. And the LORD had RESPECT unto Abel and to his offering" (Gen 4:4).
NIV reads, "But Abel brought FAT PORTIONS from SOME OF THE FIRSTBORN OF HIS FLOCK. The LORD looked with FAVOUR on Abel and his offering."
You see, when Abel honoured the Lord with the choicest part or fat portions, which were from SOME of the firstborn of his flock, not all the firstborn of flock, then the LORD honoured him back. (Please see also 1 Sam 2:29-30).
FIRSTFRUIT OFFERING CONTINUED UNDER THE LAW
See Exo 23:19, Exo 34:26.
FIRSTFRUIT OFFERING CONTINUES AFTER THE LAW
The law neither gave birth to it nor ended it. It is still for us today. But those who ask people to bring all their firstfruits are either ignorant or greedy!
If the Lord, however, tells anyone specifically as a rhema to give all his firstfruits, that's ok. I'm sure He won't tell everyone in the Body of Christ to give all their firstfruits!
He will only tell everyone to give the best of their firstfruits, not the worst, not the average, not the left-overs, but the very best.
Jesus did not tell everyone he met to go and sell all their belongings and give the money to the poor but he told only a rich young man (see Mark 10:21-23). He didn't give the same hard rhema to all the people present there that day.
5. KINGDOM PROJECT OFFERING
After the LORD had instructed Moses to build him a tabernacle, He said to him:
"TELL the Israelites to BRING ME AN OFFERING. You are to receive the offering for me from each man WHOSE HEART PROMPTS HIM TO GIVE.
THEN HAVE THEM MAKE A SANCTUARY FOR ME" (Exo 25:1, 8, NIV).
"Then MOSES GAVE AN ORDER AND THEY SENT THIS WORD THROUGHOUT THE CAMP: 'NO MAN OR WOMAN IS TO MAKE ANYTHING ELSE AS AN OFFERING FOR THE SANCTUARY.'
AND SO THE PEOPLE WERE RESTRAINED FROM BRINGING MORE, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work" (Exo 36:6-7, NIV).
The following principles should be followed for kingdom project offering:
i. There must be a kingdom project which God himself commanded you specifically to carry out, and not the one you copied from another church.
"THEN HAVE THEM MAKE A SANCTUARY FOR ME.."
ii. Tell the people about the assignment he has given you to carry out through them. You can't get them involved unless you first tell them.
"THEN HAVE THEM MAKE A SANCTUARY FOR ME [through their possessions and skills and labour].."
iii. Then tell them to bring an offering only when the LORD commands you to tell them.
"TELL the Israelites to BRING me AN OFFERING"
iv. The offering is for the LORD, not for the pastor. That must be emphasized and practised.
"Tell the Israelites to BRING ME an offering"
v. Their hearts should prompt them to give. That means they must give a free will offering as their human spirit leads them, and not as someone forces or cajoules them.
"You are to receive the offering for me from each man WHOSE HEART PROMPTS HIM TO GIVE."
vi. Leaders must have enough integrity to know when to tell the people not to give towards the kingdom project anymore because the offerings already brought are enough for the project.
"Then MOSES GAVE AN ORDER AND THEY SENT THIS WORD THROUGHOUT THE CAMP: 'NO MAN OR WOMAN IS TO MAKE ANYTHING ELSE AS AN OFFERING FOR THE SANCTUARY.'
vii. Also rather than still allow people to continue bringing the offerings with the intention of diverting the left-overs to other things, the people should be restrained (that is, stopped by action, not by mere words of mouth).
AND SO THE PEOPLE WERE RESTRAINED FROM BRINGING MORE, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work."
6. PLEDGED OFFERING
In 1 Sam 1:11 (NIV), Hannah said to God, "if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life "
Notice that it wasn't Eli the priest that told her to make a vow or pledge to him or to the LORD.
A pledge or vow is a solemn promise to God. It's between that person and God.
So we need to teach people the importance of Scriptural pledges or vows and the dangers of not fulfilling them when due.It is better not to pledge than to pledge and refuse to fulfil it (see Eccl 5).
Hannah's vow here was conditional. "God, if you give me, then I will give you."
That means if God did not give her that thing then she would not have to give the same to God!
HOW AN EVANGELIST CAN RAISE MONEY FOR HIS MINISTRY
1. THROUGH HIS CHURCH BASE
"So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and SENT THEM OFF" (Acts 13:3, NIV).
2. THROUGH THE INVITING OR HOST CHURCH, MINISTRY OR ORGANIZATION
When Jesus sent out the twelve disciples, he instructed them, "Give as freely as you have received! Don't take any money with you; FOR THOSE YOU HELP SHOULD FEED AND CARE FOR YOU" (Mat 10:8-10, TLB).
THE Amplified Bible puts the expression "FOR THOSE YOU HELP SHOULD FEED AND CARE FOR YOU" in verse 10 above as "FOR THE WORKMAN DESERVES HIS SUPPORT (HIS LIVING, HIS FOOD)."
Similarly, the Lord Jesus told the 70 (or 72) disciples: "FOR THE WORKERS DESERVES HIS WAGES" (Lk 10:7, NIV).
Wasn't that what Paul was saying when he wrote, "In the same way, THE LORD HAS COMMANDED THAT THOSE WHO PREACH THE GOSPEL SHOULD RECEIVE THEIR LIVING FROM THE GOSPEL" (1Cor 9:14, NIV)?
The Living Bible puts it as: "In the same way THE LORD HAS GIVEN ORDERS THAT THOSE WHO PREACH THE GOSPEL SHOULD BE SUPPORTED BY THOSE WHO ACCEPT IT."
3. THROUGH FRIENDS
"AND JULIUS, IN KINDNESS TO PAUL, ALLOWED HIM TO GO TO HIS FRIENDS SO THAT THEY MIGHT PROVIDE FOR HIS NEEDS" (Acts 27:3, NIV).
4. THROUGH RELATIVES
5. THROUGH PARTNERS
"AND THEY BECKONED UNTO THEIR PARTNERS, WHICH WERE IN THE OTHER SHIP, THAT THEY SHOULD COME AND HELP THEM" (Lk 5:7).
'The LORD said to Moses, "TELL THE ISRAELITES TO BRING ME AN OFFERING. YOU ARE TO RECEIVE THE OFFERING FOR ME FROM EACH MAN WHOSE HEART PROMPTS HIM TO GIVE" ' (Exo 25:1-2, NIV).
i. REGULAR PARTNERS
"But even so, you have done right in helping me in my present difficulty.
As you well know, when I first brought the Gospel to you and then went on my way, leaving Macedonia, ONLY YOU PHILIPPIANS BECAME MY PARTNERS IN GIVING AND RECEIVING. No other church did this.
Even when I was over in Thessalonica you sent help twice.
But though I appreciate your gifts, what makes me happiest is the well-earned reward you will have because of your kindness.
At the moment I have all I need more than I need! I am generously supplied with the gifts, you sent me when Epaphroditus came. They are a sweet-swelling sacrifice that pleases God well.
And it is He who will supply all your needs from His riches in glory, because of what Christ has done for us" (Phil 4:14-19, TLB).
ii. MOMENTARY PARTNERS
One of God's generals in Asia shared a fantastic story along this line. After God told him to plan to reach some millions of souls for Christ in Japan, one night he prayed, "God, if you are on the throne, can't you raise money without making me cry? If you cannot give me half a million dollars during my stay Dallas, I am finished. You gave me visions and dreams to win such-and-such million Japanese to Christ, but I cannot supply the money"
The following morning, a businessman requested to see this man of God. And when they met, he said, " I had a strange experience. This morning as I was on my way to work, I was listening to one of your tapes in my car on visions and dreams for Japan missions. Then the Holy Spirit told me to meet you immediately and give you half a million dollars."
"Whoever is PARTNER with a thief hates his own life; he falls under the curse [pronounced upon him who knows who the thief is] but discloses nothing" (Pro 29:24, AMP).
6. THROUGH PERMISSIVE LOANS
"Now the wife of a son of the prophets cried to Elisha, Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. But the creditor has come to take my sons to be his slaves.
Elisha said to her, what shall I do for you? Tell me, what have you [of sale value] in the house? She said, Your handmaid has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.
Then he said, GO AROUND AND BORROW VESSELS FROM ALL YOUR NEIGHBOURS, EMPTY VESSELS − AND NOT A FEW.
And when you come in, shut the door upon you and your sons. Then pour out the oil you have into all those vessels, setting aside each one when it is full.
So she went from him and shut the door upon herself and her sons, who brought to her the vessels as she poured the oil.
When the vessels were all full, she said to her son, Bring me another vessel. And he said to her, There is not a one left. THEN THE OIL STOPPED MULTIPLYING.
Then she came and told the man of God. He said, Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons live on the rest" (2Kin 4:1-7, AMP).
The Hebrew word translated "borrow" in verse 3 above is "shaal" and it means "to request, demand or consult."
On the other hand, the word "borrow" in Deuteronomy 28:12, Nehemiah 5:4, Isaiah 24:2, Proverbs 22:7 and Ps 37:21 is "lavah" and it means "to borrow as a form of obligation."
In other words, God was discouraging borrowing [lavah] as a lifestyle, a habit, unavoidable responsibility or helpless duty, which most likely keeps you in unnecessary bondage to the lender.
That is why the Book of Proverbs 22:7 cited above says, "Just as the rich rule the poor, SO THE BORROWER IS SERVANT TO THE LENDER" (NLT).
More interestingly, in Deuteronomy 15:6, the word "borrow" is from the Hebrew word "abat" which means "to entangle − borrow, to pawn, to lend (on security)."
You see, to entangle is to "to catch in a trap; to ensnare." The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines it as "to make something become twisted or caught in a rope, rope, etc."
Personally, as far as financing kingdom projects is concerned, I would rather borrow money permissively as God leads me than put a heavy unnecessary financial burden that will hinder the gospel on people.
Ideally, we can do without borrowing. Don't be inclined to it. Do you know that debt can hinder you from making heaven (Rom 13:8)? There have been testimonies of people in hell because of debt!
7. THROUGH SECULAR VOCATION
"After this [Paul] departed from Athens and went to Corinth.
There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently arrived from Italy with Priscilla his wife And [Paul] went to see them,
AND BECAUSE HE WAS OF THE SAME OCCUPATION, HE STAYED WITH THEM; AND THEY WORKED [TOGETHER], FOR THEY WERE TENT-MAKERS BY TRADE" (Acts 18:1-3, AMP).
Later, he told the Ephesian elders, "I covet no man's silver or gold or [costly] garments.
YOU YOURSELVES KNOW PERSONALLY THAT THESE HANDS MINISTERED TO MY OWN NEEDS AND THOSE [OF THE PERSONS] WHO WERE WITH ME.
In everything I pointed out to you [by example] that, by working diligently in this manner, we ought to assist the weak, being mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, It is more blessed (makes one happier and more to be envied) to give than to receive" (Acts 20:33-35, AMP).
i. An evangelist may need to sow a seed-faith from his own personal pocket and/or on behalf on his evangelistic ministry to another minister, ministry or church as led by God to tap into certain financial and material blessings.
Vows (1Sam 1:11): He may practise the principle of vow in 1 Samuel 1:11 personally as led by God without abusing it by asking people to come and make some useless carnal vows by force.
ADMONITION FOR MINISTERS AGAINST WRONG WAYS OF RAISING MONEY
Referring to the offering to be contributed by the saints, Paul wrote, "the offering, which we administer in order to HONOUR THE LORD HIMSELF AND TO SHOW OUR EAGERNESS TO HELP (not to hinder God's work).
WE WANT TO AVOID ANY CRITICISM OF THE WAY WE ADMINISTER THIS LIBERAL GIFT [of money contributed by the saints].
FOR WE ARE TAKING PAINS TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT , NOT ONLY IN THE EYES OF THE LORD BUT ALSO IN THE EYES OF MEN" (2Cor 8:19-21, NIV).
The Living Bible puts verses 20b-21 above thus: "THAT NO ONE SHOULD FIND FAULT WITH THE WAY WE ARE HANDLING THIS LARGE GIFT.
GOD KNOWS WE ARE HONEST, BUT I WANT EVERYONE ELSE TO KNOW IT TOO. THAT IS WHY WE HAVE MADE THIS ARRANGEMENT."
As a guest evangelist in a place, he should submit to the authority of the inviting pastor or minister and walk in agreement with him on raising money among the saints in a Scriptural way, only as the need arises. (A pastor, not an evangelist, is the head of a local church.)
Amos 3:3 (NLT) reads, "Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?"
But as much as possible, he should avoid raising money as a guest evangelist unless he is specifically led by God's Spirit to do so or else it will devalue his ministry gradually before God and man.
On the other hand, as a host evangelist, he is at liberty to follow the Spirit and ensure that neither himself nor any other person raises money outside both the injunctions of the Scriptures and the leading of the Spirit.
You see, raising money or taking an offering at the wrong time or place or using a wrong way or method grieves the Holy Spirit and opens the door to the devil to come and steal blessings, kill the move of God and destroy ministries rather gradually (Jn 10:10)!
Paul warned, "Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him]
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden Him], by whom you were sealed (marked, branded as God's own, secured) for the day of redemption" (Eph 4:27, 30, AMP).
WRONG WAYS OF RAISING MONEY
Now let's look at ten different wrong ways of raising money which evangelists and ministers at large should carefully avoid lest they should invite the wrath of God upon their lives, families and ministries (Pro 15:27).
1. DON'T BEG PEOPLE TO GIVE YOU THEIR SUBSTANCE, BUT TEACH THEM TO GIVE IT TO GOD TO WORSHIP HIM.
"HONOUR THE LORD WITH YOUR WEALTH, with the firstfruits of all your crops" (Pro 3:9, NIV).
"Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfil your vows to the Most High He who sacrifices thank offering HONOURS ME" (Ps 50:14, 23, NIV).
Paul wrote, "As we carry the offering, which we administer in order to HONOUR THE LORD HIMSELF " (2Cor 8:19, NIV).
These Scriptures stress the need to honour or worship God with what he has given us. Worship is what you give to God. He may be accept or reject it.
True worship is the expression of a heart of love in a believer to God the Father. It can come through blessing God with songs of praise (not songs of deliverance, not songs of victory, not songs of petition, not songs of soul winning, not songs of rebuke), prayer of thanksgiving, music, money, your consecrated body [Rom 12:1, NIV], material possessions, and so on.
Rather reduce himself to a piece of bread like a professional beggar, a minister should tell the saints how to worship God acceptably with reverence (honour or respect) and awe (holy fear that makes one withdraw from sin and draw near to God) because our God is still a consuming fire [see Heb 12:28-29].
They need to realize that one of the ways to give to God Is to give towards a project that HE has commanded (Exo 25:1-2).they also need to learn that giving to the poor equals lending to God (Pro 19:17).
You see, God told his worshippers under the Law never to appear before him empty-handed (Deut 16:16).
Every minister should tell the flock to honour God with their substance, not to dishonor Him and treat Him like a beggar by throwing leftovers to Him.
2. DON'T FORCE THEM TO GIVE AGAINST THEIR OWN WILL.
Paul wrote, "For if the WILLINGNESS is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have" (2Cor 8:12, NIV).
He continued, "Every one must make up his mind as to how much he should give. DON'T FORCE ANYONE TO GIVE MORE THAN HE REALLY WANTS TO, FOR CHEERFUL GIVERS ARE THE ONES GOD PRIZES" (2Cor 9:7, TLB).
Shortly after I got born-again, I attended a church service somewhere. Fortunately, they were to lay the foundation of their new building that Sunday. So I saw it as an opportunity to sow to God's work.
I think I came out in response to an altar call to give towards the project. But I was rather shocked by the time the minister in charge announced the least amount we should give or pledge. I had just passed out of secondary school then.
So that amount announced was far bigger than my faith. Despite that, I wanted to participate. I went through hell before I could redeem it. What a financial bondage caused by a greedy minister!
But the second Scripture above warned us against such a wrong practice. Look at it again, "Every one must make up his mind as to how much he should give. DON'T FORCE ANYONE TO GIVE MORE THAN HE REALLY WANTS TO, FOR CHEERFUL GIVERS ARE THE ONES GOD PRIZES" (2Cor 9:7, TLB).
In fact, I had to sell off some of my possessions. I was severely depressed. I learnt my lessons in a hard way (please see also Eccl 5:1-7, Exo 35:5, Rom 8:14).
3. DON'T MAKE THEM VOW TO YOU.
"If you make A VOW TO THE LORD YOUR GOD" (Deut 23:21, NIV).
The Scriptures teach that we make our vows to God. Jacob was one the first men to make a vow in the Bible. And he made it to God (Gen 28:20-22, Gen 31:11-13).
I've observed a sad trend in the church world. Some misinformed ministers manipulate people to vow to them! What a sacrilege! A vow is between the person making it and God.
A minister who calls out people from a congregation and tell them to vow or pledge some money to him or the church publicly has taken the place of God in that congregation. Where is the Headship of Christ in His Church today? Are we leading the people to Christ or to ourselves? (Please see 1Sam 1:11, 21; Ps 132:2; Eccl 5:4; Is 19:21).
A vow is a solemn promise. No man should monitor a vow to God. Check your Bible. We no longer trust God to supply our needs, so we motivate and pressurize people to vow to us even when God has not prompted them to do so.
4. DON'T ENCOURAGE THEM TO BRING DIRTY MONEY.
"For I the LORD love judgment, I HATE ROBERRY FOR BURNT OFFERING" (Is 61:8).
Not all offerings are acceptable to God as already explained. God said through Isaiah that he hates robbery (stealing) for offering.
So, a minister should not shy away from telling people that God hates wealth got through pen robbery, internet robbery, armed robbery, mouth robbery, and the like.
You see, if you encourage them to earn or give dirty money, you are heaping up curses for yourself and those involved.
Thank God for minister who hates what God hates, and loves what He loves (see Malachi 1:10-14, Jer 17:11). Every saint should be encouraged to study Malachi 1 before Malachi 3.
5. DON'T BUILD GOD'S CHURCH ON RICH PEOPLE TO GUARANTEE THEIR CONTINUOUS HEAVY DONATIONS.
"The rich and the poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all" (Pro 22:2).
Just as God is no respecter of persons, so should a minister be a respecter of nobody. He should neither give special attention to the rich nor despise the poor (Jam 2:1-13).
As the need arises and God directs, he should give everyone an equal opportunity to honour God with their substance, be it little or much. He should remember that God looks at the heart but man looks at outward appearance.
One day Jesus watched how people gave their offering in the temple. Many rich people cast in large amounts of money, but a certain widow gave only two mites.
Then Jesus surprised his disciples saying, "This poor widow outgave all of them because while they gave out of their wealth or abundance, SHE, OUT OF HER POVERTY OR LACK, GAVE ALL SHE HAD LEFT" (paraphrased; read Mark 12:41-44).
We should encourage both the rich and the poor to lay up their treasures in heaven through their Scriptural giving in willingness and obedience to God's leading (Mt 6:19-21, 1 Tim 6:17-19).
You see, we should allow both the poor and the rich to give because it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
Simply put, people who receive are blessed, but those who give are more blessed because the person who is a blessing (the giver) is more than the person who is blessed (the receiver).
God said he would bless Abram. That's great! Then he said he would make him a blessing. That's far greater! (see Gen 12:2-3.)
Moreover, the truth is: THE PURPOSE OF GIVING IS TO HONOUR GOD AND HELP OTHERS BUT ITS BENEFITS INCLUDE: HELPING US LAY UP TREASURES IN HEAVEN AND BRINGING INCREASE TO US ON EARTH (2Cor 8:19).
I know a particular minister who built God's church on the rich. I stood in front of their church auditorium one day when they were raising money.
I was grieved in my spirit because it was like a social club. They invited a fund raiser formally who sounded like an unbeliever. I learnt that a particular rich man was given a special attention in that occasion.
Later, I learnt that that rich fellow abused them verbally behind their back because he knew they were after his money, which he probably got through wrong means because I know him fairly well.
It is not absolutely wrong to raise money, but it must be done only when God leads you to do so and of course, in a Scriptural way.
For example, when my first book came out, I wanted to do a book launch to raise money. But I seemed to sense God restraining me. So I cancelled it. A man advised me to do it but I didn't.
Then the Lord impressed it on my heart to do book presentation instead. You know, the book you want to launch can crunch you and you ministry if care is not taken.
Every minster should build God's Church on Christ the Rock, not on sand (man) otherwise it will not stand the test of time (Mt 7:24-27).
Have you read the story of how Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke escaped a money trap several years ago when he had just begun to reach out to Africa?
A wealthy woman phoned her and wanted to give his ministry some huge amount of money.
So he visited this woman millionaire or billionaire who had a diamond mine, iron ore deposits and so on.
She literally told him, "I want to finance your Gospel crusades in AfricaI want to form a trust and give half my assets to God's work. Would you like to join the trustees? All this money is to be used in the service of the Lord. Will you accept it? "
The man of God did not jump at it the way some ministers today would have done like a hungry monkey jumping at bananas!
Rather he and his wife, Anni sensed an unusual caution in their spirit. No witness of peace and joy in their heart.
You see, the Scripture says, "For YE SHALL GO OUT WITH JOY and BE LED FORTH WITH PEACE
THE SPIRIT OF MAN IS THE CANDLE OF THE LORD, searching all the inward part of the belly" (Is 55:12, Pro 20:27).
So he thanked her requested some time to pray about it before committing himself. Do ministers pray about such things nowadays?
Eventually, they prayed about it and God gave him a warning dream. On their next visit to this woman, the dream was confirmed in the natural.
Then God spoke to him three times to have nothing to do with the money. So he declined the great offer politely asking her to give her millions to someone else. Right there and then, a burden was lifted off his spirit.
Commenting on that, this wonderful evangelist said, "I realized that I could exhaust the millions the lady was offering, and when they're finished, my ministry could be finished also, because I would not have continued to learn to rely on the Lord."
6. DON'T CHARGE THEM FOR THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD, PRAYER, HEALING, DELIVERANCE, PROPHECY, AND SO ON.
Jesus told his disciples, "Freely you have received freely give" (Mt 10:8, NIV).
God frowns at leaders or ministers charging people for the ministry of the word, prayer, healing, deliverance, prophecy, and so on.
HE said through a prophet, "HER LEADERS JUDGE FOR A BRIBE, HER PRIESTS TEACHES FOR A PRICE, AND HER PROPHETS TELL FORTUNES FOR MONEY
THEREFORE BECAUSE OF YOU, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets" (Micah 3:11-12, NIV).
You can sell Christian books, tapes, magazines, DVDs, and so on at Christian prices. The money generated thereby is not for you, but for the ministry or church.
You are, however, entitled to a pay and probably royalties because a labourer deserves his wages, the oxen treading the corn must not be muzzled and those who preach the gospel should live by the gospel (1Cor 9:7-14).
These materials should not be sold at unreasonably high prices in order to make quick or big money out of the people.
We must understand that the purpose of selling those things is not to make money, but to help accomplish your God-given mission. Money is just a benefit derived from it; it is not its purpose!
If you sell at irrationally high prices, then you are charging them for what God gave you freely and you won't escape His judgment unless you repent.
7. DON'T SELL GIMMICK ITEMS OR QUESTIONABLE THINGS TO MAKE MONEY.
Jesus came into the temple and drove out those selling. They had turned the temple into a market using the right place but for the wrong purpose (Jn 2:13-17, Lk 19:45-46).
A minister who has integrity should not sell gimmick items or questionable things to make money. He is to be a blessing from God to mankind, and not to take advantage of them financially, materially and so on.
It is to be regretted that some ministers have now resorted to selling special water, special oil, special honey, special mantles (prayer cloths), special pens, titles, and such like just to make money.
Did Jesus, Paul or Peter do that in their earthly ministries? Would they do that today if they were here physically? No, a billion times no!
They may make quick money out of it. They may laugh all the way to the bank while heaven is weeping profusely over such sharp practices by ministers who are nothing but anointed crooks, eloquent rogues and hungry monsters. Dear sir or ma, are you a minister or a monster?
A sister told me that she was forced to buy special (anointed) water when she went to seek prayer from a famous man of God.
A minister may buy oil and use it to minister to a babe in Christ (Jam 5:14) or an unbeliever (Mk 6:12-13).
8. DON'T CONDEMN THEM AS SINFUL IF THEY DON'T GIVE WHAT YOU WANT.
Jesus strictly warned us in Luke 6:37 (AMP), "Judge not [neither pronouncing judgment nor subjecting to censure], and you will not be judged; DO NOT CONDEMN AND PRONOUNCE GUILTY, AND YOU WILL NOT BE CONDEMNED AND PRONOUNCED GUILTY."
Paul also wrote, "Who is he that CONDEMNETH? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us
Who are you to CONDEMN someone else's servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him judge whether they are right or wrong. And with the Lord's help, they will do what is right and will receive his approval" (Rom 8:34, KJV; 14:4, NLT).
Some time ago, I attended a conference where a minister whom the Lord once mightily used to shake the kingdom of darkness through power-packed evangelistic crusades and so on was the guest speaker.
But all that great anointing of those days had been virtually lost. All that was left was more of empty noise and carnal manipulation with little or nothing of God!
That fellow grieved the Holy Spirit by saying, "Bring such and such an amount of money quickly. Put it in this blessed hand to receive your breakthrough. If you have such and such an amount but refuse to bring it forwards, it is a sin. "
I left the meeting sad. God's presence was very thin or light there, whereas human presence was heavy or strong. What a pity!
John the Baptist warned some soldiers, "NEVER DEMAND OR ENFORCE by terrifying people or BY ACCUSING WRONGFULLY, and ALWAYS BE SATISFIED WITH YOUR RATIONS (SUPPLIES) AND WITH YOUR ALLOWANCE (WAGES)" (Lk 3:14b, AMP). Thank God we, saints, are soldiers for Christ.
You see, it is clear from this Scripture above that the reason why ministers accuse or condemn people wrongfully so that they can give crazily is that they (such ministers) are not satisfied or contented with their salaries [allowances, wages] or honorarium [rations, supplies].
Godliness with contentment is great gain but Godliness without contentment is great loss [1Tim 6:6]!
A good New Testament minster should help people deal with and remove their guilt through the Word and the Blood. It is only a wicked or ignorant minster that preaches or speaks condemnation just to make people feel guilty unnecessarily [2Cor 3:6-9].
Speaking the truth brings Godly sorrow that leads to true repentance and salvation, but speaking falsehood produces condemnation which can result in false repentance, needless regret and emotional [or even physical] death (2Cor 7:8-10).
Jesus told the woman guilty of sin, "I DO NOT CONDEMN YOU EITHER" (Jn 8:11, AMP).
Also he challenged the Pharisees, "You [set yourself up to] judge according to the flesh (by what you see). [You CONDEMN by external human standards.] I do not [set Myself up to] judge or CONDEMN or sentence anyone" (Jn 8:15, AMP).
9. DON'T THREATEN THEM WITH CURSES, CALAMITY, FINANCIAL HARDSHIP, DEATH, SICKNESS, AND SO ON.
Let's look again at John the Baptist's stern warning to those soldiers, "NEVER DEMAND OR ENFORCE BY TERRIFYING PEOPLE or by accusing WRONGFULLY, and ALWAYS BE SATISFIED WITH YOUR RATIONS (SUPPLIES) AND WITH YOUR ALLOWANCE (WAGES)" (Lk 3:14b, AMP).
Do we terrify or threaten people so that they can give carelessly? Be honest with yourself, would you like it if someone terrorizes or frightens you to give a big offering forcefully? I'm sure you wouldn't like it.
Then follow Jesus' instruction, "SO IN EVERYTHING, DO TO OTHERS WHAT YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO TO YOU, for this sums up the Law and the prophets" (Mt 7:12, NIV).
Isn't it ridiculous if a Pentecostal or Charismatic man of God has this attitude, "If you don't bring a fat cheque, a chicken for special prayer or one of your many cars, you will never receive that miracle you have been praying for"?
Peter wrote about Jesus, "HE MADE NO THREATS [OF VENGEANCE]; BUT HE TRUSTED [HIMSELF AND EVERYTHING] TO HIM WHO JUDGES FAIRLY" (1Pet 2:23b, AMP).
This verse above simply implies that such ministers breathe threats on the people because they don't trust the Lord enough to take good care of them and everything.
So threaten by the anointing of the Lord to revenge themselves on the people who refuse to give them what their carnal appetite desires.
But have they forgotten so soon that the Scripture says that the just man shall live by faith, and not by threats (Hab 2:4)?
Let's follow the examples of Jesus in 1 Peter 2:23b above (please see also 1 Pet 2:21).
Similarly, Paul admonished, "GIVE UP THREATENING AND USING VIOLENT AND ABUSIVE WORDS" (Eph 6:9, AMP).
10. DON'T PROMISE TO REWARD THEM WITH POSITIONS, TITLES, PLAQUES, AWARDS, PUBLIC RECOGNITION, AND SO ON IF THEY GIVE.
Jesus said, "TAKE CARE NOT TO DO YOUR GOOD DEEDS PUBLICLY OR BEFORE MEN, IN ORDER TO BE SEEN BY THEM; OTHERWISE YOU WILL HAVE NO REWARD [RESERVED FOR AND AWAITING YOU] WITH AND FROM YOUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN.
THUS, WHENEVER YOU GIVE TO THE POOR, DO NOT BLOW A TRUMPET BEFORE YOU, AS THE HYPOCRITES IN THE SYNAGOGUES AND IN THE STREETS LIKE TO DO, THAT THEY MAY BE RECOGNIZED AND HONOURED AND PRAISED BY MEN. TRULY I TELL YOU, THEY HAVE THEIR REWARD IN FULL ALREADY.
BUT WHEN YOU GIVE TO CHARITY, DO NOT LET YOUR LEFT HAND KNOW WHAT YOUR RIGHT HAND IS DOING,
SO THAT YOUR DEEDS OF CHARITY MAY BE IN SECRET; AND YOUR FATHER WHO SEES IN SECRET WILL REWARD YOU OPENLY" (Mt 6:1-4).
I remember a great minister of the gospel in this nation who used to ask people in the early days of his ministry to bring some bags of cement in order to become a deacon. I think he later stopped this.
You see, it is wrong to tell people to give some money or material possessions so that we can announce their names publicly on our pulpits or in our magazines or to have their names written boldly in a plaque, on the notice board or on the wall!
Wasn't this what the Lord was condemning when he said, "No wonder you can't believe! FOR YOU GLADLY HONOUR EACH OTHER, BUT YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT THE HONOUR THAT COMES FROM THE ONE WHO ALONE IS GOD" (Jn 5:44, NLT)?
SEVEN THINGS ABOUT CARNAL METHODS OF RAISING MONEY
1. THEY ARE MOSTLY CAUSED BY PRESSING NEEDS.
"And THERE WAS NO WATER FOR THE CONGREGATION: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron" (Num 20:2).
Many an evangelist today, gives in to questionable and unscriptural ways of raising money because of pressing needs. Instead of turning to God and putting pressure on the never-failing Word of God, they mount unnecessary pressure on the people!
2. THEY ARE PRACTISED BY THOSE WHO ARE NOT SPIRITUALLY SENSITIVE OR WATCHFUL.
Moses struck the rock because he wasn't sensitive to God; he wasn't watchful of the moving of the Spirit. Rather, he was more concerned about meeting the people's need but less concerned about pleasing or honouring God!
Jesus warned, "All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and WATCH AND PRAY, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but flesh is weak" (Mt 26:41, AMP).
Notice here that he did not say, "PRAY AND WATCH" We have to watch first, and then pray second. Reversing this order will make our prayers ineffective.
In unveiling his mind to the seven churches in Asia, the Lord emphasized, "He who is able to hear, let him listen to and give heed to what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches) [Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29; Rev 3:6, 13, 22, AMP]."
This is a clarion call to spiritual watchfulness or sensitivity.
3. THEY ARE A CLEAR SIGN OF LACK OF TRUST IN GOD HINDERING ONE FROM DEMONSTRATING HIS HOLINESS TO OTHERS.
'Then he and Aaron summoned the people to come and gather at the rock. "Listen, you rebels!" he shouted. "Must WE give bring you water from this rock?"
But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, you will not lead them into the land I am giving them!" ' (Num 20:10, 12, NLT).
The word 'we' in verse 10 above suggests the sin of pride because Moses was putting Aaron and himself in the place of God the Almighty Provider. Also his striking the rock had an undertone of anger, just as he broke the tablets of the Ten Commandments out of anger early!
Don't we speak to the people proudly and angrily too when trying to collect offerings from them? Don't we reject some offerings because they are as little as the widow's mite even when God accepts them? Why didn't Jesus reject the widow's mite considering that it was very small?
4. THEY ARE SHORT-CUTS TO PRODUCE A QUICK FIX.
"We don't want you to become lazy, BUT TO IMITATE THOSE WHO THROUGH FAITH AND PATIENCE INHERIT WHAT HAS BEEN PROMISED" (Heb 6:12, NIV).
Many people are impatient to let God bless them in His own way and time. They want short-cuts, which is getting them and those following them under pressure.
Such pressure will push them to get quick money to do God's work without waiting for God. You see, whenever you become more concerned than God about His work, you are treading on dangerous ground because we are not called to work for God, but to work with Him.
Paul wrote, "FOR WE ARE LABOURERS TOGETHER WITH GOD" (1Cor 3:9). Unless and until we understand this, we will either run ahead of God or lag behind him. God does not want us to a messenger in a hurry like a racing horse.
Neither does he desire us to be a laggard like a dragging mule. While a horse is fast, a mule is slow. If you are too fast or too slow, you will miss God's best for your life and ministry. Just keep pace with Him!
David warned, "BE NOT LIKE THE HORSE OR THE MULE, WHICH LACK UNDERSTANDING" (Ps 32:9, AMP).
Yes, the horse and the mule lack the understanding of proper timing. Dear minister, you need faith and patience to receive bumper financial harvest in life and ministry. Don't imitate the hurry generation of preachers we have today, who want everything in a quick fix. (Please read Gal 6:9-10, Heb 10:35-39).
5. THEY ARE A HOT SLAP IN THE FACE OF CHRIST.
Though God asked Moses to speak to the rock, yet the Scripture says that he "RAISED HIS HAND AND STRUCK THE ROCK TWICE WITH THE STAFF" (Num 20:11, NLT).
Interestingly, Paul revealed to us that that Rock was Christ (1 Cor 10:4). So Moses struck Christ the Rock of Ages. His concern was results by any means, not obedience on divine instruction. His priority was to meet the pressing need in his own way, not to please the Lord.
Imagine Christ coming to one of our services, and our cajoling him to give some money by all means even against his will. In as much as we do it to the believers, we do it to Christ. Whatever we do to the body we do to the head.
6. THEY MAY BRING WONDERFUL RESULTS.
"Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the staff, AND WATER GUSHED OUT. So the entire congregation and their livestock drank their fill" (Num 20:11, NLT).
It wasn't God perfect will; nevertheless He allowed it to work. The people enjoyed the blessing and were happy, but God was sad.
You see, we don't have to be deceived by anyone that if a method used by a preacher to raise money or do something else is working, then it must be what God has commanded.
7. THEY INCUR GOD'S ANGER EVENTUALLY.
'But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust me enough to demonstrate my holiness to the people of Israel, YOU WILL NOT LEAD THEM INTO THE LAND I AM GIVING THEM!" '(Num 20:12, NLT).
In the end, God's judgment fell on Moses and Aaron for using a method that heaven did not command.
I believe judgment will start in the house of God, that is, among God's family, namely the saints. Unless those ministers who are experts at using carnal, wrong or tricky methods repent, judgment will fall upon them one of these days.
LAST WORDS ON MONEY: RUN AWAY FROM COVETOUSNESS, BUT RUN AFTER CONTENTMENT
Jesus warned, "Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. LIFE IS NOT MEASURED BY HOW MUCH YOU OWN" (Lk 12:15, NLT).
Did you notice this statement of Jesus above − LIFE IS NOT MEASURED BY HOW MUCH YOU OWN?
If you measure your true worth in life and ministry by what you own, then your heart is in the wrong things. You need to renew your mind according to Romans 12:2, which says we should not be conformed to this world but should be transformed (changed) by renewing our mind to know what God wants for us as perfect, permissive or good!
You see, it's not wrong to own things, but it's wrong when things own you! Yes, it's all right to own things, but make sure you own what God wants you to own and at the proper time or else that thing may take God's place in your heart.
Paul cautioned, "[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.
For we brought nothing into the world, and obviously we cannot take anything out of the world;
But if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content (satisfied)" (1 Tim 6:6-8, AMP).
In other words, godliness with satisfaction with what you have without having to covet what belongs to others is great profit , but pretended godliness which allows you to covet what others have makes you forfeit much in God.
You see, it's one thing to have a form of godliness that makes you look holy on the outside but it's a different thing to have the power of godliness that transforms you inside out!
To be content does not mean to be satisfied with what the devil wants you to have poverty, failure, lack, debt, sickness, and so on. Rather it means to be satisfied with whatever God gives you to fulfill His purpose for your life!
You can't be greedy and generous at the same moment. You may be greedy this moment, and become generous the next moment so as to cover up your greed. That is a major problem in the Nigerian Church and society at large!
Friend, you can't be contented and covetous at the same moment. Though you may contented (satisfied with what God has given you for now) this moment, and become covetous (dissatisfied with what God has given you for now)!
If you are not yet born-again, say this:
I choose to repent today. Also I choose to believe that Jesus died for my sins and rose up for my justification.
The Scripture says, "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Rom 10:9).
Therefore, I believe in Jesus in my heart and confess Him as my Lord. Now I am born-again (Amen).
SAY THIS ALOUD TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
Also Jesus said, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1:8).
And on the day of Pentecost "All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4).
Therefore, I receive the Holy Spirit by faith right now and I begin to speak in an unknown tongue (unlearned tongue) as He gives me the utterance.
I command every foul spirit [spirit of fear, spirit of unbelief, spirit of doubt, religious spirit, unforgiving spirit] wanting to hinder me to stop in its evil operation in my life in Jesus' name.
Thank you God for filling me with your Spirit in Jesus' name (Amen).
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Why Some Churches Won't Grow!
Just Before You Start A Church
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False Doctrines Exposed!
SPECIAL! SPECIAL! SPECIAL!
A MUST READING/VIEW
(Google the following free of charge on the Internet and God will change your life forever.)
1. "Holiness Required For Heaven by Carillo from Bolivia"
2. "Eternal Destinations: Godly Attire and Adornment"
3. "Another Warning by Kingsley Ubani"
4. "Time Is Over : Run For Your Life by Kingsley Ubani"
5. "9 Testimonies on Tithing from Heaven and Hell Visions"
6. "The Dangers of Eating God's Tithes and Offerings"
7. "The Visitation of Jesus to Samuel Oghenetega"
(Crosscheck these testimonies with the Scriptures and if you have questions you may send us an email.)
About the Author
Segun Olumide and his wife, Tosin are founding ministers in the New Apostolic Movement and the Glorious Family Church International both in Lagos, Nigeria. He has a divine mandate to align the Church with God's purpose.
In a vision, the Lord showed him a Bible opened to the Acts of the Apostles with the words "APOSTOLIC CALL" on one of the pages. They reach out through School Of Ministry, School Of Life (Pre-Bible School), NAM Bible School and Healing School. His apostolic teachings have blessed the Body of Christ across the nation.
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