Church Capital Campaigns Are Biblical!
I get excited when people challenge the concept of a church capital campaign because they don’t see the term in the Scriptures. It presents a wonderful teaching opportunity on a topic that is very dear to God, the stewardship of our money. Over the years, I have heard people say many times that they “don’t see capital campaigns in Scripture”. While it is true the words “church capital campaign” do not appear in Scripture, I am quick to remind people that the word “trinity” does not appear anywhere in the Scriptures, yet it is a fundamental doctrine of Christianity.
The Bible provides us with wonderful examples that offer a sound basis for a church capital campaign. In fact, in the Abundant Giving program, we provide a presentation entitled, From the Tabernacle to the Temple to Today that illustrates this.
(The following is an excerpt from the presentation “From the Tabernacle to the Temple to Today” which is one of the many resources available on the Abundant Giving Training & Resource Client Resource Site)
We have two excellent fundraising examples in the Old Testament: One for the building of the tabernacle and the other for the building of the temple. These examples, along with those provided in the minor prophets regarding rebuilding the temple and the walls of Jerusalem, provide an excellent foundation for biblical fundraising.
Check out these biblical examples:
Giving for Building the Tabernacle
“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it’” (Exodus 25:1-9).
“Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the LORD’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart, and brought earrings and nose rings, rings and necklaces, all jewelry of gold, that is, every man who made an offering of gold to the LORD. And every man, with whom was found blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, goats’ hair, red skins of rams, and badger skins, brought them. Everyone who offered an offering of silver or bronze brought the LORD’s offering. And everyone with whom was found acacia wood for any work of the service, brought it. All the women who were gifted artisans spun yarn with their hands, and brought what they had spun, of blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. And all the women whose hearts stirred with wisdom spun yarn of goats’ hair. The rulers brought onyx stones, and the stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate, and spices and oil for the light, for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. The children of Israel brought a freewill offering to the LORD, all the men and women whose hearts were willing to bring material for all kinds of work which the LORD, by the hand of Moses, had commanded to be done” (Exodus 35:4-5, 21-29).
“Then Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom, everyone whose heart was stirred, to come and do the work. And they received from Moses all the offering which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of making the sanctuary. So they continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning. Then all the craftsmen who were doing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work he was doing, and they spoke to Moses, saying, “The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work which the LORD commanded us to do.” So Moses gave a commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, “Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary.” And the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient for all the work to be done–indeed too much” Exodus 36:2-7.
These verses teach several important principles:
- God said to give an offering for the building of the sanctuary.
- In addition to their tithes, and offerings.
- Specific for building.
- Led by the church leader(s) (see also 1 Chronicles 29: 3-9)
- The expectation was all would give.
- Not compulsory, a free will offering.
- A gift from the heart (see also 2 Cor 9:7)
- Not equal gifts.
- Some offered gold, some silver, some bronze.
- Each as they had ability.
- Giving was ongoing:
- An initial offering.
- A continued offering.
- They gave until the job was done.
- Giving had to be restrained!
Giving for Building the Temple
“Furthermore King David said to all the assembly: “My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced; and the work is great, because the temple is not for man but for the LORD God. Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones, stones to be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance. Moreover, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house, my own special treasure of gold and silver: three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses; the gold for things of gold and the silver for things of silver, and for all kinds of work to be done by the hands of craftsmen. Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the LORD?” Then the leaders of the fathers’ houses, leaders of the tribes of Israel, the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the officers over the king’s work, offered willingly. They gave for the work of the house of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the LORD, into the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite. Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the LORD; and King David also rejoiced greatly” (1 Chronicles 29:1-9).
- David, as leader of the corporate body of Israel (church), prepared in advance for the building of the temple.
- David personally and publicly attested to his financial support.
- David both encouraged and challenged others to do the same.
- David saw giving to the work as an act of consecration (sanctify, dedicate).
- Those in charge or in areas of responsibility gave; giving started at the top and worked its way down through the people. Quoting from Matthew Henry’s Complete Commentary, ‘Those who would draw others to do that which is good must themselves lead. Those especially who are advanced above others in place and dignity should particularly contrive how to make their light shine before men, because the influence of their example is more powerful and extensive than that of other people.’ “
In addition to the examples above, there are numerous other examples in both the Old and New Testament of God’s people giving to accomplish His will. The verse that lies at the center of our church capital campaign program is found in 2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that you, always having all sufficiency in everything, may have and abundance for every good work.”