Money and the Church

WORKship follows the lead of the earliest followers of Jesus and takes no money. None. No one gets paid. No buildings get built. No fundraisers are held. Instead, 100% of our efforts go to directly helping those in need. Using this earliest-church model, WORKship provided over 15,000 meals last year to the hungry in Tucson alone.

Why no money? Because the role of money for the earliest followers of Jesus was simple: it was non-existent. In the sixth chapter of Mark, the earliest of the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus sends out the disciples with “no copper (money)”. To make this point even more specific, later Gospel writers augmented this passage from Mark. In the tenth chapter of Matthew, for example, Jesus commands the disciples:

“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts…”

This same prohibition against money is also found in the fourth chapter of Luke and in the sixth chapter of Matthew where Jesus famously warns:

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Nowhere is this conviction that God and money do not mix more evident than in the stories of the cleansing of the Temple found in the 11th chapter of Mark, the 21st chapter of Matthew and the 19th chapter of Luke. Instead of entering the Temple complex to make a sacrifice and praise God, Jesus enters the Temple and then forcibly drives the money changers out.

So what changed? Why is money so central to today’s modern church? To learn how the role of money changed in the early church, please download our paper entitled: “God and Mammon: The Role of Money in the Rise and Spread of the Early Christian Church”.

To download the paper, please click here: God and Mammon

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