I was with a few pastors the other day and one was talking about his church receiving a large amount of money. One of the church members passed away and left the money to the church. My pastor friend thought they should do something amazing with it, putting it to work doing ministry, maybe building a water well in Africa, doing some things locally, and maybe putting some of it in the bank. Instead the church decided to put all the money in the bank, just in case they ever need it. This pastor friend said, “I’d hate to be sitting on that kind of cash if Jesus came back.” Another one of my friends pastors a church with over $1 million in the bank that someone left to the church.
Mike Slaughter said that Ginghamsburg UMC, one of the 10 largest UMC’s in the country, has 1.7 weeks money in the bank. In other words, if two weeks went by and they didn’t take up offerings, the church would not be able to pay their bills.
One of the most amazing people I’ve ever met was Alberta Percival. Alberta passed away a little while back. She didn’t have $1 million dollars to leave the church. She died with practically nothing. She even left her body to Marshall University for medical research, helping in that way and also saving the cost of a funeral home. I don’t think it’s because she was careless with her money. From what I could tell, it simply wasn’t that important to her and she just gave it away while she was alive. If someone needed something and Alberta had it, she would give it to them. She knew God would take care of her and He always did.
I can imagine Jesus being very happy with the way Alberta came to heaven, leaving virtually no money, but oh so many blessings in her wake. On the other hand, I cannot see God being really happy with a church sitting on a whole bunch of cash when 330,000 children in the world became infected with AIDS last year, and so many die from preventable things like malaria and lack of clean drinking water. With that in mind, I’d hate to be sitting on that kind of cash if Jesus came back or when I go to see Him, whichever comes first.