Are you a Patron for God? Could we go off the air?
We’ve all heard of patrons for the arts - those who financially support the local opera company or philharmonic orchestra or the art museum. Without the support of generous patrons, many of these worthwhile causes would not be possible. These are good things that make our culture and society richer, yet they do require the ongoing financial support of patrons in order to exist and continue to function.
But what about patrons for God - for His church, for His purposes? Are there patrons for God? Should there be?
We often don’t bother to think about the inner-workings of the church - what it takes for the church to function - for the lights to be on for Sunday morning services, for the grass to be mowed and the facility cleaned, to have running water and clean restrooms, for the air-conditioning to be working - those and numerous other behind-the-scenes functions and operations that are necessary for the church to run properly. We don’t often think about these things - we just want to come to church and enjoy the worship service.
And, when everything goes as expected, it’s easy not to give a second thought to how it all comes together - the church property looks nice as we drive in, the sanctuary is clean and tidy, the lights work, there’s running water, the sound system works, and thankfully the air-conditioning works...countless behind-the-scenes functions that most of us never notice - that is unless something goes wrong.
What happens then? How do we respond when the lights don’t work...or here’s a big one - in the hot south Florida summer - when it’s hot in church because the air-conditioning is not working? Do we complain that somebody didn’t do their job?
For each of those things to function properly requires that those responsible do their part. The various crews work hard to be sure the lights work and to be sure the sound and video systems work and the air-conditioning works, that the facility is clean and well maintained...not to mention the choir and pastors and BLG leaders all being prepared - everyone working hard, doing their part.
But are we doing our part?
Each of these functions require effort and each have an associated cost that requires the financial support of all of us who benefit from all of those behind-the-scenes functions that normally go unnoticed, yet serve to make our worship experience not only more comfortable, but more impactful.
We’ve heard it said on public television and public radio that “Without your continued financial support we could not continue to broadcast these programs and would go off the air.” Probably true. They need ongoing financial support.
But what if the financial support needed for the church dried up? You can see where I’m headed with this, but you say “I don’t like to think about the financial aspects of the church - it takes away from the enjoyment of the worship time. Plus, what I can give is only a drop in the bucket of what is needed.”
Perhaps. But not wanting to think about what it takes to fund our church and its ongoing operation does not mean the need doesn’t exist, and without each of us doing our part, contributing as the Lord enables us, the church cannot function as it should. The Francis Schaeffer Institute recently reported that every year more than 4,000 churches close in the United States due to lack of support.
Edward Powell writes “Indifference to tithing led again and again to a decline in the work of the church.” May that never be said of us.
And this affects not just the weekly operation of church services - which includes our weekend worship and Sunday school (BLG’s) as well as Wednesday evening. It also impacts our school and the ongoing operation of our more than 100 other ministries, not to mention our support of missions both at home and abroad who depend on our ongoing support.
Throughout Scripture, patrons are recognized for the support they provided the early church. Luke mentions the support of Theophilus and in Acts Paul mentions the support he received from Aquila and Priscilla. He mentions them again in Romans along with the patronage of Phoebe and many others.
We all have a responsibility...will we do our part? Are you...will you be a patron for the Lord’s work - to ensure we don’t “go off the air”?
More to come... Do you have questions about managing your finances from a Biblical perspective? For help and guidance feel free to call Kent Anderson at (239)597-6057 x254.