June 27, 2019
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
So, I started the Upper Room Baptist Chapel almost nine months ago. A number of people have attended and gone but I have been blessed with a few families and individuals who have faithfully attended and been an integral part of the Chapel. Since I started the Chapel almost nine months ago, I have not collected an offering or “passed the hat” in any way. I have been very hesitant to do so for various valid reasons, these reasons being especially relevant for here in Kenya. However, over the last few months at various intervals almost all of the faithful attendees to the Chapel have asked me why I haven’t taken up any offerings. They have respectfully and lovingly questioned some of my reasoning with some good, logical reasoning of their own. One thing that I have heard from most of them is that they want the Chapel to continue long term and they know I cannot possibly be around forever. They want to help support the ministry and ultimately see it become self-reliant. This is obviously a good, reasonable and Biblical goal (and quite lofty) which I whole-heartedly approve. Seeing as most of the faithful attendees have approached me on this matter at one time or another, I feel it necessary to discuss the reasons why I have hesitated such a long time to inaugurate the collection of offerings.
15 Valid Reasons Why I Have Hesitated to Collect Offerings at the URBC: 1. I don’t want anyone thinking I (or the Chapel) just want their money; 2. In Kenya, too many pastors (and churches) are in it just for the money. To them it is a job, a lucrative job, and people are easily fleeced; 3. Too many Kenyan pastors and churches completely misuse donated money, stealing money from the offerings for their own personal use; 4. Misuse of money causes Kenyan people to not trust the pastor; 5. I want the focus to be on the gospel ONLY and not on money (in some churches it’s just money, money, money all the time); 6. I don’t want anyone to think they cannot come to the Chapel to hear the gospel because they cannot contribute; 7. I don’t want anyone feeling pressured to give money they don’t have or to take food off of someone’s table (a reality here in Kenya); 8. I don’t want any unbeliever to think we are here just to collect their money. I don’t want them to even come close to thinking that; 9. Money can be a cause of division and fighting among God’s people. I have seen it cause countless troubles in Kitale churches as when there is money in the coffers people viciously fight over it; 10. People with the money tend to run a church with their money and have a greater influence within a church; 11. Pastors focus more on people with money than people without money (James 2:1-4); 12. Ministry becomes one of numbers and money; 13. Pastors become afraid of preaching truth out of fear of losing tithing members. Pastors become puppets of tithing members; 14. People will come to our Chapel only for the expectation of getting some of the money in the coffers; 15. I don’t want people to give money just so they will in turn receive material blessings, a typical and universal teaching here.
Do these sound like valid reasons to hesitate to you all? But my attendees have valid arguments too and I know that giving to the Lord’s work is Biblical and vital to the health of the ministry. We will be discussing these matters at the Chapel. Please pray with us as we want to follow the instruction of the Bible and the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Until next month, beloved.
May God’s peace and joy be with you.
For the glory of God in Kenya,
Roger & Julie Tate (and Amy, Josiah & Chloe)
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For ministry donations:
Pastor George Sledd, Treasurer of BFM
P.O. Box 471280
Lake Monroe, FL 32747-1280
or click here to donate to BFM online.