And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; you shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade.
— John 2:17

He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you make it a den of robbers.’” — Matthew 21:13

Author Peter DeHaan in his article, “Three Church Priorities: Butts, Bucks, and Buildings, makes the case that, “The things religious leaders focus on may not matter to God at all,” and I agree. Jesus certainly appears to have made that point when he cleared out the Temple area—but many churches didn’t get the memo!

DeHaan continues, “Modern church priorities look at attendance, offerings, and facility size. Perhaps this is because the world measures success by the number of people, amount of money, and size of buildings. We’re more like the world that we care to admit.” Well said. I call it the “Business Model” in running a church. And it was never ordained by God. And the American church is guilty!

In researching for this article, I read about churches that instead of giving away Bibles—charged a “reasonable fee” along with other books so they could replenish their stock.” So much for “freely give freely receive” (Matthew 10:8). Another rented out their facilities at the going commercial rate to other church organizations who couldn’t afford their own, rather than offer them free for their meetings. Oh, and did I tell you what Jesus said about “the least of these brothers and sisters of mine” (Matthew 25:40)?

According to DeHaan the church argument is that “The church institution needs money to operate. Ministers need their paychecks. Mortgage payments and utilities have monthly due dates. If the offering sags, the church leadership panics. Boards instruct their teaching pastor to preach more about money. Yes, it happens. I’ve seen it.” And it’s the topic at the next few “Bored” meetings!

“Yet Jesus says not to worry about the future (Matthew 6:34). This includes money. Jesus never took an offering. He never gave a plea for money. He trusted His Father to provide. So should we.” Oh, and did I say He never charged for those meals to the 4,000 and 5,000. Had he done so, think about how that would have padded His ministry for a few years!

Let me close with DeHaan’s final statement because he says it so well. “If Jesus focuses on changed lives, community, and commitment, so should we. These should be our church priorities. Let’s push aside butts, bucks, and buildings because these things just get in the way of what Jesus wants for His followers. — Maranatha!

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their
life for me will find it.” — Matthew 16:24-25 

“God is good all the time. All the time God is good!”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.