The Church and the Distribution of Wealth

No church member in the church today should ever lack financially. The pastor should not live in a multimillion-dollar home with no financial worries while church members live in poverty and can barely afford food, pay bills, or lack any of the necessities of life. This is an abomination to God.

The Church and the Distribution of Wealth

No church member in the church today should ever lack financially. The pastor should not live in a multimillion-dollar home with no financial worries while church members live in poverty and can barely afford food, pay bills, or lack any of the necessities of life. This is an abomination to God.

The early church made sure all the followers had what they needed. In Acts 4:34, 35, the scripture reads: “Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”

Not to suggest that church members today sell their homes and possessions and give the money to their pastors, no, the church would be flagged by the government and society as a cult. But there is a way to practice this method of wealth distribution without being considered abnormal. Read how Churches Should Have Their Own Businesses.

The church is a group of people (strangers and pilgrims 1 Peter 2:11), who are passing through the world and living for the Lord. They are not ordained to suffer as the people of the world suffer. Unfortunately, many church members are suffering because church leaders do not understand or practice the liberality of wealth distribution among the churches and how it blesses both spiritually and financially. They are too caught up in the politics of economic capitalism.

Though it rains on the just and the unjust, the church has the divine protection of the Lord and can avoid many problems of the world and rest from their labors in Jesus. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.” 1 Peter 2:9.

We are taught of God to live content with the things we have and not to seek after wealth or covet riches and the things of the world. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5.

But this does not mean we have to live in poverty either. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19. We are taught that riches are deceitful and caring too much about things can hinder spiritual growth; “and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful” Mark 4:19.

The early church and apostles understood that if the members most basic needs were taken care of, that they would not lust after the things of the world, and they could grow without the influences and corruption of the world. They were wise men who looked after the needs of the widows and fatherless, the men who worked in the gospel, and the strangers who came in from the world.

Paul and the apostles conducted an experiment in the distribution of wealth from one wealthy church (Macedonia) to a poor church (Corinth) and proved that this exchange helped the wealthy church grow in spiritual righteousness while helping the poor church, who was rich in spiritual wealth, grow financially. “For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;” 2 Corinthians 9:12, 13.

This experiment is a mystery of the gospel not many pastors understand. The object is for wealthy churches to contribute funds to poorer churches. The poorer churches were rich in spiritual riches but lacked money and the wealthy churches lacked spiritual riches. The exchange worked through the power of thanksgiving and God’s grace.

Through the method of spiritual community building, any church can provide for their members and make sure no one is lacking financially. This takes a measure of faith that the church today does not have and are apparently afraid to practice. This takes a pastor that has wisdom and is not greedy of gain, covetousness, or corrupted by the economic theories of the world.

The problem today is that churches pattern themselves after the world as businesses operating on a corporate level. They have absorbed the mentality of the world, which is survival of the fittest, the bootstrap mentality - where people are responsible for their own financial success - and the “I got minds now you get yours,” mindset. But neither of these worldly theories are what the early church operated from. As the scripture reads, none of them lacked and distribution of wealth was partitioned to all and not just to those who were considered socially or credit worthy.

The apostles appointed men to look after the widows and families when the church membership began to grow. “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” Acts 6:1-5. The apostles needed to focus on the word so these chosen men were considered the first Deacons for the church.

Today, no young mother should go without diapers for their baby; no family should not go without lights or water, heat or air in their home. All the members should have a reliable means of transportation to and from work, school and church, and no man should be without a job either at the church being paid, or in the world. No child should be without clean clothes, school lunch or proper healthcare, and no members should ever be homeless or hungry.

Instead of spending frivolous amounts of money on the beautification of the church, television and radio production, expensive jets and trips around the world and month-long retreats for church leaders, the church should be focused on the surrounding community and members of the church, so they do not fall into lust and unneeded struggles of life.