NT Church - The church is financed by free will offerings.

But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:6,7).

This is another area of the church that is very important in meeting New Testament specifications, yet it is seldom addressed. It is a sensitive area because many churches have very large budgets. The construction and maintenance of large buildings have increased them. The larger the "membership" becomes, the larger the building becomes. With a large building comes increased activities. These activities add to the costs. With increased activities comes the need for more "staff personnel" who are often hired at stipulated salaries. As the budget increases, the need for gathering more funds becomes more demanding. This brings about various tactics for raising funds. A favorite one is to assess an annual amount to each "member" and to assign a numbered envelope to each one so that an annual accounting is available. This can become a subtle means of pressuring the "members" into increasing their annual giving. There are a host of other tactics that can be and are used. It seems clear that New Testament giving is to be purposed in the heart, without any man-made pressures or tactics. The giver is not to give out of a feeling of necessity which often causes him to give grudgingly.

A distinguishing mark of a New Testament church is that the church trusts the Lord to supply the needed funds for its support. Its budget is determined by the giving of the Lord’s people rather than the budget making demands on the people to give. The modern techniques of raising money in the church contradict several premises laid down by the Word of God.

1. The amount given should be known only by the giver. "Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men....But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth; that thine alms may be in secret" (Mt. 6:2-4).

2. The amount given is not as important as the motive of the heart for giving. "And He (Jesus) looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And He said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all; for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God; but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had" (Lk. 21:1-4).

3. Only those who are saved and in the fellowship should be giving to the servants of the Lord and His service. "Because for His name’s sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles" (3 Jn. 7).

The questions then to be asked in looking for a New Testament church are: Is the budget set first and then appeals made to the people or does the church determine its expenses by the amount given by those in its fellowship? Are their public appeals made for more money and pressures used to get more money from the congregation? Is money received on a regular basis from those who are not in the fellowship? Are the amounts given publicized or made known to the congregation?

These matters are important for the New Testament warns us of the danger of improper attitudes toward money in the church. The first sin committed in the church revolved around money (the sin of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5). Salaries paid to staff members (a large part of church budgets in these days) can lead to varying acts of covetousness on the part of the staff members.