Dave Black Returns from Ethiopia

… and he’s already thinking about a new essay:

I’m currently writing an essay on missions and finances, particularly the issue of the funding of church planting. I’ve been scouring the Pauline epistles to see what the greatest church planter who ever lived had to say. (Thus far my essay is tentatively titled “The Thessalonian Road to Financial Freedom.”) I’m also reading some good stuff in the blogs. I ran across this essay today: What Every Church Planter Needs, in which the author makes this statement:

Another important element in a successful plant is money. Most church planters resist the idea of pursuing it. Many church planters think it is unspiritual to focus on it, but sooner or later every church planter realizes that it is going to take money, and a lot of it to do what God is calling him to do. I remember going to my first church planter training conference and hearing that a church planter needed to be a fund raiser. My initial thought was that if this were the case, I couldn’t plant, because I hated to ask people for money. But like every church planter eventually does, I realized that I had to get over this and that God’s vision was worth me getting over my fund raising phobia. Money is an important and pressing issue. In fact, after talking with over a hundred church planters in the last year, I have heard the same story over and over again: “I need to raise more money. Do you know where I can get some?”

What do you think? Should we automatically assume that we need to raise funds to start a new church? Should we also consider Paul’s example of self-support?

We thank the Lord that he is back safely.  I understand Becky is expected back today.

What do you think about the question?  I’ve moved personally from a non-profit concept and fundraising to operating a business as a ministry in which I don’t seek or even accept donations.  There are hardships in both, but I prefer the “tentmaking” model.  I think that as Paul said those who preach the gospel are entitled to support, but I also find great value in the self-supporting alternative.

Use the comments to, well, comment!

(David Alan Black is author of Energion titles The Jesus Paradigm and Christian Archy.  He is also co-editor of the Areopagus Critical Christian Issues series.)

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  • I’m looking forward to his essay as well. My own work involved both missionary effort and also teaching in local churches. I’m not ready to tell anyone else how to do it, but I’m very interested in giving it serious consideration, especially 2 Corinthians. I’ve been studying that book quite a lot recently.