Saturday, January 10, 2009

What Could The Church Do With A Trillion Dollars?

I have been thinking about the amount the government is spending to stimulate our economy. I am not going to get into the political aspect of what is going on in America. I can't get my mind even around the figure of a trillion dollars. It has me thinking about Christianity though. The questions I have and want us to think about is what could the church do with a trillion dollars? How many people could we as believers reach for Jesus Christ? How many needs could be met for the Kingdom? How many Bibles in different languages would a trillion dollars buy? How about evangelism both in America and worldwide? Could a trillion dollars reach the entire world for Christ or at least give the world an opportunity to respond to the gospel? As Jesus tells us in the gospels that he will not return until the gospel has been preach to all nations. I don't know about you but I can't wait for Christ return. I personally believe that a trillion dollars would help in spreading the good news about Jesus. Is it possible for believers and the church to spend this kind of money on global evangelism? Is it practical or just a dream? What would be needed for this to become a reality? Would it take unity? Would it take setting differences aside and working together? Can it be done?

So, what do you think?
Share your thoughts.


Blogger Alan Knox said...

Wow... (tongue in cheek) just think of all the buildings we could build, the salaries we could pay, the parking lots we could pave, and the jets and cars we could buy. We would truly expand God's kingdom.


2:05 PM  
Blogger flyawaynet said...

I'm just thinking out loud here... maybe it has no basis on anything at all - but, if we had a trillion dollars would we really be spreading the gospel?
Is it possible for us to say the 'words' of the gospel, but not the 'message' of the gospel?

3:05 PM  
Blogger Benjie said...

I'm with flyawaynet on this one. With that kind of money, we COULD do so much, but I'm afraid that what we WOULD do is to buy all the things that churches want and cease to focus on the purpose given us by the Master.


3:15 PM  
Blogger nAncY said...

i do not think that money is needed by the church of God to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

i think that the Church already has what it needs and is becoming blind to it.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Foggy Blogger said...

Actually I think the church already has a trillion dollars. We're just afraid to ask for it. Probably because, we'd abuse it.

My fantasy church would use it to show JC's love in the world through various relief and social help programs.

Reality church... read Mr. Knox's post.

Ah the taint of sin on!

4:16 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

My first thoughts were that the church could use the money to meet the needs of its disabled members and the disabled children of its members. Then it could prioritize the rest into translating the Bible into languages that have no Bible yet and sending missionaries to the ethnic groups around the world that have never been reached (such as the Pygmies of the Congo). Although there are many good ways for money to be spent, I can't think of better or more urgent ways at the moment. (I'm sure your readers will come up with several that did not come to my mind, though:).

5:10 PM  
OpenID lmouser said...

Alan Knox even with "tongue in cheek" probably has the right answer.

An excess of money would likely be used to feather our own nests.

We could build bigger church buildings with grand and glorious fellowship halls where we could sit around in style waiting for the lost to seek us.

nAncY also hits the nail on the head; we already have all we need to tell the world about Jesus.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

I agree with Alan Knox.. if we had a trillion dollars we would not spend it any different than we use donated monies today.

Maybe the better question is what would Preacherman do with the money.. I think that you would invest it in the kingdom rather than church stuff Kinney!

7:31 PM  
Blogger Joshua Tucker said...

We already spend more money on buildings than we do helping the hurting and supporting missions.

If we had a trillion dollars, something tells me we'd just make more buildings and make church more entertaining... if the Kingdom isn't our priority with a little, I sincerely doubt it would be with much.

8:24 PM  
Blogger jel said...

hey preacherman,
hope u and your family are doing well,

as for your Q? it's a pipe dream,
lets face it, that kind of money would cause nothing but trouble,
i agree with Alan,& Kansas Bob!

8:40 PM  
OpenID rogueminister said...

If the Prop 8 thing is an example of what Christians would do with a lot of money then things dont look good. Forty million dollars was wasted on discrimination.

On the other hand the Church's response to Katrina and other recent disasters gives me hope. So I guess it depends on who in the church gets the money.

9:49 PM  
Blogger jeleasure said...

Preacher Man,
If our ministers can not help the church understand the difference between 'righteouness' and 'holiness'; 'saved' and 'sanctified', it doesn't matter how much money the ministry would have.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Church Blog Theory said...

Hello preacherman!

I also have been pondering the same type questions. I have come up with an interesting idea that doesn't cost anything but time. It is focused at engaging the internet for the glory of God using blogs to improve the church's presence online and to promote individual personal evangelism. It is called Church Blog Theory. I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
Church Blog Theory
I appreciate the work you are doing for God's Kingdom with this blog.
Obligated to Him,
Ryan Parsons

12:56 AM  
Blogger nAncY said...

God loves you, kinney.
He always has, and He always will.

i love you, because God gives me this Love to have for you my brother. i am happy that you have left comments to my thoughts, thus allowing for relationship, and allowing for God to work in that in His Love. you continually put a hand out to people in Love, and are a precious child of God.

God is so good. God is Love. thanks be to God.

11:49 AM  
Blogger St Charles, Il said...

God has given us His unlimited resources. He asks that we pray and obey His word. He will add the blessing.
God Bless. MAnderson

2:37 PM  
Blogger AncientWanderer said...

Hey Preacherman-

Great question.

The church could do a lot because in my experience we are more efficient than the world with money.

I am amazed that most of those who answer sit in air conditioned and heated buildings with an actual roof and use the bathroom and park in lighted parking lots and drive their cars from their homes EXPECTING the "church" to have all of these amenities readied for them act like money is evil.

Oh well, I wish just once one of the "we don't need money" brothers or sisters would leave their tent or shelter room and walk to an open field and sit in the mud listening to someone untrained to teach and preach ramble on about the evils of money in a driving rain storm shouting AMEN! ;)

How much does the individual Christian "spend" on their personal housing, meals, leisure, and cars compared with what they contribute to the church?

We do get silly and myopic when it comes to "church" and money.....

5:01 PM  
Blogger Larry Bob Lane said...

I read somewhere where a trillion dollars is equal to this....

If you stacked one dollar bills end to end, it would be enough to go from earth to the moon, and back, 200 times.

I'm not sure the church needs to get into a problem like that now that our national debt is fixing to be a 48 trillion dollars.

Money never makes the church better. People make the church better. Neighbor helping neighbor is what the church needs. And you don't need a trillion dollars to do that.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...


I haven't found where money is mentioned in relation to doing the work of the church, except for helping the less fortunate. We don't use what we have wisely so why would anyone think we would do better with more.

As for the return of Jesus being delayed until to gospel is preached to the whole world... That was accomplished in the first century. (Romans 1:8, Romans 10:18, Col 1:6 )The return of Christ can happend at any moment.


9:20 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Not to be mean, but saying this more as a joke, some in the church would want to put it in the bank in case of a rainy day. You know, you just never know what is going to happen. Hopefully this would not be the case though.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Dwayne Hilty said...

"Actually I think the church already has a trillion dollars. We're just afraid to ask for it. Probably because, we'd abuse it." (Foggy Blogger)

This comment got me thinking. Not sure what the exact amount is, but something tells me that Foggy Blogger is right on. The "Church" already has a trillion dollars (bank accounts, property, assets, salaries, etc.) and look what we're doing with it.

Break out the pie chart and look at how church dollars are spent. Unfortunately, we already know what a trillion dollars would be spent on.

2:51 PM  
Blogger Paul Ford said...

Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you have. Give the money to those who are poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me." - Mt 19:21

How hard is it, if we or the church were to be blessed (or cursed) with such a large sum of money, to decide to give it all away. Instead, I'm afraid, we'd try and build heaven here on earth, and be focused on having the good things in life. Jesus was dissapointed in that rich young ruler, not because he was wealthy, but because he trusted in his riches more than trusting in God to take care of him.

Jesus said, "Do not put away riches for yourselves on earth. Moths and rust can destroy them. Thieves can break in and steal them. Instead, put away riches for yourselves in heaven. There, moths and rust do not destroy them. There, thieves do not break in and steal them. Your heart will be where your riches are." - Mt 6:19-21

If our focus and our heart is in riches, and what all can be done with them, we will loose focus on the important thing in our life - trusting in God.

"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember what happened in your lifetime. You received your good things. Lazarus received bad things. Now he is comforted here, and you are in terrible pain." - Lu 16:25

And finally, a stern warning, if we are comfortable in our wealth, while others are in need whom we have opportunity to serve, we will be rewarded with a big bit of uncomfortableness, while those who were without will be blessed with comfort.

Remember, in this life, nothing but a simple gate separated the rich man from Lazarus. Lazarus was willing to be blessed by that rich man, while the rich man was unwilling to serve him.

Don't be controlled by love for money. Be happy with what you have. God has said, "I will never leave you. I will never desert you." - Hebrews 13:5

10:49 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

Hi Kinney,
Yes, the Church certainly could do some more good with more money. Hopefully some people could be won to Christ.
I was part of a liberal church in California that had an endowment that kept the church running whether or not people gave. Even though there were true believers therein, the emphasis was not on the blood of Jesus saving, but on taking responsibility for ourselves. They had a musical every spring, which was the central event of the church calendar.
So in short, money could help, but it isn't the first answer. Many of Jesus' followers were dirt poor, and many gave up their riches to follow Him.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Dwayne Hilty said...

Ok, so this trillion dollar question has been haunting me all week. Here's why...

"We" (I'll just speak for American Christians) are the richest in history. Why do we assume that more money would change our already complacent behaviors of living/sharing the Gospel?

And what about the process of giving and sacrifice? Giving and personal responsibility are at all-time lows. Why would we want to perpetuate poor discipleship by giving for people? I mean this in no disrespect to your comment Vicki, but perhaps the church is already doing too much for people, and thus developing a lack of generosity?

Just a few thoughts.

12:44 PM  
Blogger sojourner said...

Does spreading the gospel hinge upon money? I think the money could be used to feed, shelter and cloth those who are hungry, thirsty, and exposed and the gospel would take care of itself through the feeding and caring of the lambs as our hands reach out in unconditional love.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Frank Bellizzi said...

With a trillion dollars, the church could become the state for a day or so.

1:25 PM  
Blogger One Observationist said...

How much do you think we could get if we sold all the church properties? How much do you think we could get if we quit paying for minister and administrator salaries? A trillion? Well, that might be pushing the envelope a little bit, but I would bet we would be on a fairly good start.

Great questions and great post preacherman.

3:25 PM  
Blogger One Observationist said...

I think individuals spending the money are much more effective than organizations. Another question I have is, how much organization is necessary to effectively administer the church? Follow up question, how much organization is necessary to spread Christ's message?


3:28 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

I'm reminded of what D.L. Moody said. That God would keep the millions of dollars coming, as long as they kept passing through his fingers.

Yes, money spent wisely could help quite a lot. Seems like God chooses to let his servants trust him in sometimes dire circumstances. I recall Paul's words that he had learned how to be abased, or in need, or abound, having plenty. But I'm sure always doing good with the plenty he had.

Yes, so much need out there. Glad for people like Bill Gates in the world, and more glad for ministries like World Vision. But God wants to work through the church, primarily, and I'm sure a good, significant work is ongoing. And the gospel in all we do, must be held as a priority in our work.

(I must say that ministries with a lot of money can be scary, in the health and wealth gospel venue)

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