A preacher gave specific instructions to those leaders who had come to invite him for special meetings in their city. The preacher gave ideas on how they could achieve the target of raising the budget. Everyone, or family or business or institutions should give a specific amount. Then there should be a special offering taken during the session when there would be a larger crowd. The preacher was more interested in getting more funds rather than the goal of fruitfulness: teaching and reaching people. Paul, the greatest preacher, was different, in that he specifically told the leaders in the city of Corinth that no collection (fundraising) should be done during his visit or in his presence.
Work with hands: Paul was radical in this attitude towards money. He knew that as an Apostle, he had the right to receive funding. (I Corinthians 9:14) But he refused to exercise this right when he ministered in the city of Ephesus. Even his co-workers were taken care of by the income he got through his hard work of tent making. (Acts 20:34) Paul did not want to be a burden to those whom he ministered to.
Special occasions: Paul instructed the local church leaders that giving should not be only during special occasions. (I Corinthians 16:1-2) When a celebrity like Paul comes it should not be the only occasion for giving in the church. Paul wrote that collection should not happen when he was around. People may be misled to give to someone according to charisma or gifts or talents, not unto the Lord. Giving should be cheerful, regular, and consistent as a spiritual discipline.
Fundraising: Paul did not want his visit to be exploited by a few who were more interested in fundraising. Paul’s ministry was to equip, empower, envision, refresh, and renew the people of God, not wear them out financially.
Paid by God: Pharaoh’s daughter said to Jochebed the mother of Moses to nurture her child, but she will pay her. (Exodus 2:9) Ministers nurture people of God for the Lord, hence He pays them.
Do I understand God’s standards in Giving?