Below are some further thoughts on the financial fellowship of the early church from Acts 2. I won’t have time to preach this, so I’m laying out some of these applications here.
Acts 2:44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
The early church did good to all men especially to those who are of the household of faith. This was manifest by selling, sharing, and meeting financial needs of fellow members. We should continue this today. (See my earlier post on this text.)
But there are many other ways we can serve one another financially so that our church and individual households can be built up. Here are a few suggestions.
1.) If you’re going to hire someone, try to hire someone from your church. Purchase their products and hire their services. We are quick to build up our hometowns by shopping local or hiring local. But, how much more should we build up our local church. So #shoplocalchurch #thatchurchcommunity
2.) This does not mean that we should enable slip shod work or pay higher prices than the market demands. A christian should have the highest level of competency, and integrity. They should make a good soup and sell it at a fair price. If a Christian expects for you to buy form them or hire them and yet they are incompetent or unskilled, they don’t deserve remuneration. They deserve rebuke.
3.). Do not expects favors and deals from your brothers. We have no right to use our christianity to demand others sacrifice. You should be looking to do favors not trying to get favors. You should be looking out for the good of others more than yourself. Don’t use your status as a means of manipulating someone to hire you. There is nothing grosser than a slick business man propping up Jesus as a selling point. Don’t fall for it and don’t feel pressure at all to play along. A fish symbol does not a christian business man make.
4.) Be sure to have plainly written, openly discussed contracts. Even God writes contracts. There is nothing unspiritual about it. In fact, clearly agreeing upon prices and establishing contrasts is wise and godly. Don’t think that because two partners are christians they are necessarily good communicators. When distress comes, or disease, or death or recession or temptation you will find even christians conveniently forgetting the terms of the contract. So write it down. Agree upon it. Be wise and good at communication. And above all else keep your contracts. Keep your promises. Be men and women of honor.
5.) In contractual disagreement, you have the right to ask the church to recommend a mediator and a judge (1 Cor 6:1). We should be able to judge between one another. If there is no one among us wise enough to judge, what a shame. Moreover, It is a sin to sue other believers in pagan courts. But, the church can judge. And, at the end of the day it is better to be defrauded than to sue your brother before the world.
6.). Do not charge interest to your brothers. Don’t enslave them (Prov 22:7). It would be better to give them money than to enslave them to you for an extended period of time. But, should one among us be crushed in poverty, we will need to help them. Interest free micro loans can be a great way to do this. But, be sure not to go about this alone. Gather wise men around you that you might be wise.