If a Pastor had to choose between those with money and poor to attend their church they usually choose the middle classed or wealthy to attend their church. The Pastor’s job becomes about people pleasing those with money in their pocket rather than a religious or spiritual duty to truth.
Why do they do it?
It isn’t very complicated really, Churches are compromised between two masters the god Mamom aka money and the God of the Bible, and it is this compromise that binds their choices. A Church costs money just sitting their doing nothing, in the form of rent and upkeep, then add the extras such as bills and events and you’ll see that Church as a building is a business, what do all business need? Customers! A customer has to have money and the more money they have the more they are likely to spend and spending equals covered costs, wages and savings. Poor people aren’t good customers, poor people add to the cost of running a church because you have to support poor people in their poverty. If you have too many poor Christians in the pews and not enough wealthy ones then the business fails.
Did Christ want the Church to be a business? If you look at the example of when Christ turned over the tables in the Temple and whipped the traders out he clearly didn’t “My House shall be called a house prayer and you have made it a den of thieves.” Where these traders steeling? It would be argued some perhaps but surely not all, the reason they were steeling was because they were selling products for sacrifice to God at high prices purely because they could make more money for monopolised products. The Church today is doing something very similar in a way not because they are charging people to use the church but because the cost of running a church has alienated poor Christians. I mentioned in an earlier blog that poor Christians can’t afford to attend conferences to learn more about Christianity, but it goes further than that today, now the cost of running a church has marginalised poor Christians from having any say, so the ministry becomes dictated by those with financial clout rather than those in charge, much like how insurance companies are able to dictate how a public service must operate.
There are three lines of debate that could be spoken about this subject as listed below:
- Pastors preach faith and perhaps need more faith to cover their bills?
- Should a costly Church building be required at such a high cost?
- Should wealthy people hold Pastors to ransom for Christian works?
Any of these lines of debate are valid and each instance might be a different reason for the ineffectiveness of spiritual growth.
If we are running Churches as businesses by default then shouldn’t we also adopt all aspects of business which would mean business strategies, cost cutting, investments etc?
I think that if Churches are fooling themselves and are businesses posing as spiritual or religious houses they are creating a grey area between religion and business which is fooling no one and perhaps a choice needs to be made as to which side of the fence they are on.
Is there any shame in a Church being a business?
I personally don’t see any reason why a Church can not be a business like a corporation, after all a Church building is no more holy a place than an office block anymore, it runs as a business and God never asked us to keep a Church or a building as Holy other than our own bodies and the Temple in Jerusalem as the Bible states.
Alternatively declaring a Church as a house of God and Holy and set apart should mean that more faith and less business is adopted, after all I’m pretty sure that God can afford His own rent.
Either way choices and transparency should be made.