Shaun Somers our Canadian counselor recently received an email from a concerned member of a local church about the debt that they were preparing to enter into. See below to Shaun’s response and as it describes both Shaun and my feelings on debt in the Kingdom of God.
“”….some have argued…. lack faith if God wants to give us the best, we should not be afraid to trust God.” Here’s the thing, I 100% agree with the quote above – we need to trust God. But I think trusting God means just that, looking at His word and His principles about how to handle money. To me, trusting God would mean setting a goal of a property worth $2.5M (or whatever) and resolving to get it WITHOUT DEBT. But “we’ll have to wait too long” some people will say. Well, who’s to say how long God will have you wait? And if that is His will, so be it. Perhaps you should have had a target like this 10 years ago, perhaps not. But taking a debt shortcut now is not the answer, in my opinion. Proverbs 22:7 says “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” (NASB) Does your church wish to be slave to the bank? Debt changes relationships, and not for the better from my experience. So again, my suggestion would be to avoid debt altogether. Failing that, taking a very small mortgage would be best. Taking on a huge debt with a congregation as small as yours seems quite “reckless”, as you say. Any suggestion that individual congregants take on debt to then loan to the church would be in my opinion beyond reckless to the point of foolhardiness. I don’t aim to offend here, because I know that those who brought up that idea are trying to help, but I cannot stress strongly enough that that is not a good plan. This matter of moving up in church size is no small thing, and will require much deliberation and prayer on the part of your church leaders and congregation. I encourage you to continue to express your concerns about any plan that requires debt as a part of the solution. “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his
neighbor has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8 May God richly bless you and your church.”