THE JESUS CORPORATION
By George Card
If business people run their business like some churches run the king's business pretty soon they would be bankrupt.† Why is it that the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light? (Luke 16:8)†
Business people make plans ahead of time sometimes for three or more years.† They don't dare to spend a penny unless they can be sure of a return on their money. They only hire people who are willing to work, and are quick to fire any employees that don't earn their keep. They invest in technology and look for other ways to be more productive. They make good deals on their supplies and materials to get the biggest bang for their buck. They look for different ways to multiply their investment.
My heart aches at seeing the crude plans for church activities in comparison. For example a revival is announced, but little or no preparation is made, at most some cheap looking flyers are created and then just a handful are distributed. If a radio announcement is made it is usually crude and unprofessional. Almost every evangelistic outreach effort is pathetically amateurish. Professional quality is not a word usually associated with Christian events or activities.
In finances we do no better, for there is also much wasteful use of scarce dollars. For example, some churches will tear down a good church building to build a bigger one.† If a church grows beyond capacity, glory to God, but why tear down a church that is in good shape just to build a bigger one? It makes no sense; the smart option is to split the church. I am sure that there are plenty of capable ministers ready to tend a new church. We buy overpriced land, and waste money in countless overpriced and useless gadgets, and services.
Also the fact that we are carrying so much dead wood doesn't help either. For 20% of the Christians do 80% of the work. And to top it all of, we allow people that never lift a finger or pay their tithes
to remain in the church. Why do we allow such free loaders to use the church services? I am not talking about new or recent visitors or inquirers, I am referring to those who have joined the church for years and their only contribution has been to warm up the pews.
I know the church exists to do good and provide services, but we need to understand that the budget is only so big. A church that overextends itself will soon find itself facing bankruptcy and then the constant begging from the membership will commence. A church must learn to live within their actual budget not some imaginary or hypothetical future budget.
Now I am going to say something that will earn me the hatred of many pastors, but it must be said. The churchís money does not belong to the pastor, it belongs to the church. I know that the pastors need a salary and surely deserve it, but the money belongs to the church, and the church should decide the pastorís salary and what to do with the rest of the money. The idea that the church is the piggy bank of the pastor is not biblical at all.
If hell wasn't so tragic, I could probably laugh at this comedy of errors.† It is only by the mercy of God that his church doesn't file for bankruptcy.
The brightest minds are out there worshipping mammon, in the Wall Street cathedral. If we went about our king's business with the same diligence and zeal, that they go about chasing the mighty dollar, we would soon have our churches to overflow.† But I guess we will continue with business as usual, always just limping along.