The second pillar of an effective church is finances. It amazes me how controversial this truth is. You cannot build anything in this world without financial resources. That just does not happen. And scripture speaks to the truth of Jesus’ relationship to finances.
“But Jesus Was Poor”
1) They had a Treasury and a Treasurer – John 12:4-6 Also, Judas in that passage said that the perfume should have been sold and the money given to the poor. Why would he say that if the band of disciples were poor themselves? And in John 13:29 we see the disciples’ assumptions about Jesus’ statement to Judas, those assumptions being that he was to buy what they needed for the feast or give something to the poor. Again…if they were poor themselves, why would their inclination be to refer to the poor as a separate group?
2) Anybody that can pull food out of thin air is not poor – Everyone always talks about Jesus’ miracles with food without realizing the commercial and financial implications thereof. If Jesus turned water into wine, John 2:1-11, do you think that that particular skill alone would have no commercial value to the party goers and party givers around him? And if Jesus can pull enough food out of thin air to feed a minimum of 5,000 people, with the actual number possibly being closer to 10,000 to 15,000, John 6:5-15, not only does that have commercial value if harnessed as an enterprise, it also means that Jesus didn’t have to work to eat. And let’s not forget that he fed a large crowd more than once Mark 8:1-9(the miracle of the 4,000). He also caused Peter, his fisherman friend, to have a financial windfall Luke 5:1-9. Peter’s business was fish; Jesus gave him enough to break his net and cause his boat to sink.
3) Anybody that can find their tax money in the sea is not poor – Jesus famously told Peter to catch a fish with coins in its mouth to pay their tribute money: Matthew 17:24-27. Again, how could someone with this kind of knowledge and power ever not have money?
“But the Bible says that money is the root of all evil”
It says that the love of money is the root of all evil, I Timothy 6:6-12. And Paul says that in the context of explaining to Timothy why character building is more important than acquiring material wealth). Paul in a nutshell says, you can’t take it with you, so there’s no need to let it destroy your soul while you live.
Paul never says however that “Money is evil so don’t have any.” Paul in fact himself counsels the church at Corinth to be liberal in their giving in 2 Corinthians 9, which makes not one shred of sense if money itself is evil, or is to be shunned. It also seems that we forget that God’s response to Solomon’s request for wisdom was not only to make him wise….but to make him rich, like no one had ever seen. And Solomon, prior to that prayer, already had enough wealth to offer one thousand burnt offerings, I Kings 3:3-13.
“But God only cares about people, He doesn’t care about Money”
When God told Jonah to preach at Nineveh, and Jonah eventually did so after his whale adventure. God rebuked him for then being angry about the Ninevhites being spared. And God not only cared about the people, but their resources too: Jonah 4:11. God cares about good business practices Proverbs 16:11, and the famous parable of the servants with the talents always seems to lead people to the wrong conclusion. That parable is talking about MONEY, Matthew 25:14-30, because Jesus mentions that part of his displeasure is that the lazy servant didn’t even think to put his one talent in the bank so that Jesus could at least get some interest from it upon His return.
So it is clear that the Lord cared about finances. The Lord used finances and resources in His own ministry. The Lord blessed people with great finances. And there is no way that the church can build anything or help the poor without money.
So once and for all: the church needs money. And it is the second pillar upon which a solid church is built.