REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THEOLOGICAL
AND SOCIAL CONCERNS RE: CAPITAL FUNDS
The Committee received a referral from the 1987 meeting of Synod that “a study be made… concerning the methods our denomination uses to fund Capital Campaigns from a Biblical standpoint.” (1987 Minutes of Synod p. 334.)
Capital Fund Campaigns
Several types of giving are noted in the Old and New Testaments. The tithe is the ordinary form of giving. In addition there are free will offerings for special needs which are revealed to leaders of God’s people, e.g. the building of the tabernacle (Ex. 25) and the temple (I Chron. 22), famine relief for the Church in Jerusalem (I Cor. 16:1), support of missionaries (Phil. 4:15). Sometimes individuals outside of’ the covenant community are used to help in the work and in the acquisition of funds, e.g. Hiram (1 Kings 5), Cyrus (Ezra 1:2, 6;8,9), Egypt (Exodus 12:35, 36).
The interpretation of this pattern in Scripture as applied to Capital Fund Campaigns is that tithes are the means to sustain the ordinary work of the Church. Capital Fund Campaigns are permitted as well as the utilizing of outside sources for administering such campaigns. Leaders are encouraged to exercise forethought and prudence in planning campaigns (Luke 14:18). They should also be mindful not to lay excessive burdens upon God’s people by requesting inordinate amounts of money or frequent solicitations (I Kings 12:1-20; II Cor. 8:13, 14).
Capital Fund Campaigns should utilize methods which are consistent with Scripture in accomplishing the purposes of God (James 4:2, 3). Concerted prayer must undergird the campaign from its inception to its conclusion (Matthew 21:22). Leaders in the Church must demonstrate sacrificial commitment to the cause (I Chron. 29:1-9; II Cor. 8:1-5). When the goals of the cause are presented to churches or individuals, needs should be expressed rather than expected amounts (Exodus 25:1-7). Appeals should emphasize free will giving rather than assessments (II Cor. 9:6-15).