Jump directly to the Content


A friend grew up on the mission field. For him, the distinction between what belonged to the mission and what belonged to the missionary was never entirely clear. Later, as a pastor, the graying of the line between church property and pastor's possessions led to financial abuse and an eventual conviction for embezzling church funds.

Since then, I have reflected a lot on the distinction between mine and thine. That distinction, I've found, is not always clear. Consider the following:

Office Supplies. When is it appropriate to use church letterhead? Church stamps? How much of the letter must be ministry related to justify the church's paying for it?

Telephone. Should the church pay for a call to my parents to consult about a church problem? How about the long-distance call to a pastor friend (we're both in the Lord's work, aren't we)? Should my present church pay for calls to former parishioners regarding issues related to my previous ministry?

Publications. If your church provides a book and/or ...

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Protecting Churches from Porn
Protecting Churches from Porn
Helpful tips for guarding church employees and equipment.
From the Magazine
I Cried Out to the Name Demons Fear Most
I Cried Out to the Name Demons Fear Most
How Jesus rescued a New Age psychic from spiritual darkness.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.