Scripture approaches the subject of funding ministry from a variety of perspectives. While offering general principles of stewardship (see “Financing the Great Commission,” page 26), it also supplies guidance for the donor as well as guidance for the asking organization. Taken together, these perspectives begin building a biblical theology of paying for the monetary costs incurred in taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Biblical Guidelines For The Donor
The Bible gives us three major guidelines that apply to the donor. First, God is concerned that giving of his resources be done with the proper intent. A most challenging passage here is 1 Chronicles 29:14–17, where David provided material for the building of the temple. After he set the example in giving and others followed, he made the following observation:
“I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent” (v. 17, NIV).
Earlier verses in this passage address the issue of what constitutes honest intent: giving to God willingly, recognizing that such gifts come from God in the first place. Those who ask for money must be extremely careful that in their asking and in how the gift and the giver are recognized, something is not done that contributes to an impure motive.
A second principle is that God expects those who give of his resources to keep it quiet. A primary passage on this point is Matthew 6:2–4: “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men.… But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, ...1
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