Question:

Hi,

I would like to ask about fundraising activities for groups within the church, such as youths' meetings, men's meetings, and ladies' meetings. Would it be proper for the youths to have a car wash where the money would go into the youths' group account and not the church's account? I know the church is only supposed to receive money in the form of voluntary contributions, but what about if it is just the youth?

Also, would it then be also biblical to go out on say youths' camps, mens' camp, ladies' camp? Because fundraising for these groups is normally done in an effort to boost money for such activities.

Thank you for your response.


Answer:

There is nothing wrong with the youth (or the men or the women) in a congregation deciding to meet together. If the purpose of the meeting is strictly for Bible study, this is something the church can support because one of its duties is to teach the Gospel. "So that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 3:10).

But the church has no duty in providing entertainment, even if Bible studies might be mixed in with the entertainment. There is no authority for it, so the church cannot be involved. "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father" (Colossians 3:17). Doing something "in the name of" means doing it by the authority or approval of the one named.

Individual Christians have more flexibility than the church. As an individual I can invite the youth over to my house for fun and games and I can have a Bible study with them while they are there. As an individual, I can organize a camp and invite Christians come. The funding for the camp, since it is privately done, can be financed as I see best, so long as it is legal. So if I want to hold a bake sale or do a car wash for the group to raise money that is fine. I can also simply ask the participants to share in the costs. But notice that the activity is not connected to the church or sponsored by the church; it is sponsored by individuals, either alone or as a group.