Note: February 6, 2010
This blog was written years ago but my ideas are still the same regarding this hot topic. Just about two weeks ago my friend and writer Jon Goode from Atlanta posed the question on FB asking whether we as parishioners gave concern to how money collected from tithes and offering at church is spent. I will post more directly from that conversation in the next couple of days.
I personally don't give thought to it because I trust my pastor, his judgement and his leadership. I have the same views that I did in 2005 when I first spoke on this issue.
It’s not up to us to determine whether Bishop Jakes and other "megapreachers" are spending the money in the church correctly or not. People like to judge preachers' worth by how much money they're making...or not and what they do with that money. We forget that Monday-Friday the church is Incorporated and has bills to pay. One of those bills--paying the leader of that particular house for them and their family to live.
Preaching even only on Sunday mornings is NO easy task. There is a LOT that goes into preparing a message for Sunday mornings, Wednesday Bible studies and any other speaking engagements that may be scheduled. Just in the physical/natural it takes a lot of energy to stand up and give of yourself. Spiritually...that is a WHOLE other discussion. Do not forget that pastors/preachers also counsel individuals at VARIOUS times throughout the week and travel ALL across the world in order to deliver the same messages given from the Lord.
Keep in mind that, specifically Bishop Jakes in this case, makes a whole SLEW of money from speaking engagements outside of his church...NUMEROUS books and also music and now film and stage plays. I'm sayin...all of his money doesn't come from the church however...if you have a church with over 20,000 members and they tithe and give offering yes, his bills are gonna be paid...and then some. Also, the tithes and offerings given by the people who attend his church are also used to maintain the facilites where these individuals come to worship...so no, all that money is NOT going into his pockets.
It is not his responsibility to provide for his WHOLE congregation but it is his responsibility to teach what "thus sayeth the Lord" and teach people how to live better lives for themselves and for their families. What people do with that information is up to them...not him.
IF a preacher runs off with the money given by the congregation and does wrong with it then he/she WILL reap what they have sown and will be dealt with in some form or fashion by the Lord.
With that being said: If people made it a point to TRULY grow spiritually and use wisdom coupled with discernment then when dealing with their finances and responsibility regarding the building up of the Kingdom of God, they would know when to give and how much to give to who. We have to be mature enough spiritually to hear from the Lord regarding ALL areas of our lives...even who to give our tithes and offering to.