Stuck in the Bell Tower

Please don’t ever put me in a bell tower. I found a story the other day about a youth worker named Scott Gibson who in order to raise money for his youth ministry, he temporarily lived in a bell tower. During his 68 hours in the tower he raised $2,500, or about $36.76 an hour.  I don’t fault Scott or any youth pastor that needs to go to extreme lengths to raise money. In general, my youth ministry needs to raise between $15,000- $20,000 every year in order to maintain its programming and mission commitments. This brings me to my point: why are parents and families willing to pay hundreds and thousands of dollars a year for sports camps and clinics but except church activities to be free or inexpensive? Now if any child needs the money for a trip or an activity, I believe the community should pay for it that is what a community is called to do! What I don’t understand is the insatiable need for fundraising. It seems like some people think that every problem in the church could be solved by having another car wash. The church needs to get back to funraising; funraising (Yes, I know I am making up words) is the act of raising money for a cause that will not benefit you. I would love to see my kids raise$15,000 a year to fight hunger, right injustice, or build wells in foreign countries. It is time for the church to stop this practice ask the community to support the “missionaries” they are sending out from their own community whether they are 13,17, or 55 and grow church budgets to where they can actually support their youth.  Either that or we should begin reserving bell towers for our finance elders and our Senior Pastors.

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