Facilities and material possessions held by a local church must not be surrendered to the personal use of its pastor or people. The church building, vehicles, equipment, and related stuff must be purchased, maintained, and used based upon the corporate benefit of the saints.
Violation of this principle is common with the following consequences:
- Escalation of “wear and tear” without ministry benefit.
- Restriction of availability for local church use.
- Stress and distraction of local church program.
- Unhealthy familiarity and things taken for granted.
- Inappropriate image for pastor/ people relations.
- Promotion of club mentality.
- Loss of the example of consecration.
We are very much aware that the NT church doesn’t possess “holy” pots, pans, and equipment. But that doesn’t mean that the principle of consecration of things used in ministry is lost in the NT era. Quite the contrary, the local church is to be purposeful and distinguished by the priorities of the NT Scripture even in the way it handles money and possessions. Things “commonly” possessed for the consecrated benefit of the saints should not be surrendered to personal use.
Many a pastor has scrambled on a Sunday morning to set up a classroom or auditorium disturbed by Saturday’s baby shower or rummage sale. “Just a few tables.” Removed by some well-intentioned member for “their” event can disrupt in a way that seems to have demonic implications. Likewise, the PK’s big wheel left in the multi-purpose room reminds every working man that the pastor is watching his toddler son on Tuesdays while is wife goes to pottery class. These things are not good!
Working with local church leadership hammer out a “use policy” is well worth the time and effort. Most of the congregational habit can be easily addressed under the principles of good stewardship. Pastors must self-impose a strict policy for their own families or pay the consequence. Make boundaries and keep them. No PK has ever ultimately suffered because he couldn’t play in the church auditorium after hours.
by Pastor T.W. Teall