Here are eight stories about pastors who collected money in different ways to build churches.
"Let me preach a sermon in your church," said an elder to the head of a church who was hesitant to say anything to contributions to the church building. She was eager to raise money for her church, as in the beginning, the believers had gathered in a Christian’s house, then in a rented mobile room. But it was too small and shabby to gather there when the number of the congregation increased. The elder took the opportunity of a gathering to preach a sermon. At the end of the message, she prayed with tears for the construction of her church, which aroused a strong response in the congregation who later donated. The head of the church also contributed financially from the offerings.
"It's not me but God asking for money to build the sanctuary." The head of a rural church said to an elder of a city church who inquired, "Do you come here to ask us for money?" Later, the elder said, "We are members together of one body", letting an accountant fetch some money.
"The five hundred yuan is not enough for the travelling expenses for us. It is too little for the construction of our church." A township pastor said to a staff worker of a provincial capital church who asked in reply.
"Do you say it is too little for you?" The pastor stated, "It is God who sends me here, and I won’t leave as the money is too little." So, the church staff went back to his pastor for advice and gave the fund-raising pastor double the money for building the church.
An elder of a town church paid door to door visits to raise money, and every villager contributed towards the church building, including Christians, non-believers, Buddhists, and leaders in the town. She was educated and popular in the village, with her husband in charge of the village for many years when he was still alive.
A pastor aged over 70 led the fellow workers to seek help to expand their old church, as the church couldn’t accommodate the growing number of believers, even with holding three services on Sunday. Regardless of losing "face", the pastor appealed to their seminary classmates and pastors in other churches which they had known for decades.
From south to north, from east to west, this pastor traveled far and wide by trains or church vehicles to raise money by pinching and collecting scraps.
Another elder also visited all churches and pastors she was familiar with to ask for help from rural to urban areas. Every time she went out, she thought twice about where to go, how to have better conversations with others and how to deal with the situation. For several months, she took slow trains instead of high-speed ones with water and bread she brought for lunch.
After many efforts, a church building project was approved. The church elder negotiated with the construction team to give 30% first and gradually paid the money during the construction process. He also conferred with the suppliers of church tables and chairs to pay one year later. Later, he borrowed money in his own name with all his deposits to finish the construction.
With pastoral staff and believers, a church leader prayed day and night for three days, as surrounding people opposed and complained about the building of the church. After the constant prayers, the people objected no longer. A member asked the leader, "Pastor, do you need money? I have 500,000 yuan which can be lent to you." At that moment, they had a financial gap of 280,000 yuan.
Another elder of a town church went to the provincial capital with other staff to see a Christian entrepreneur who had contributed greatly to church buildings. But the boss was too busy to receive them, so they waited patiently till 6 p.m. Finally, he appeared and gave funds for them.
(The article is originally published by the Gospel Times.)
- Translated by Abigail Wu