14. What is the scriptural way to collect money from the saints for God’s work?



There are two scriptural ways to collect the offerings of the saints for God’s work.

The former consists in placing a chest or a box inside the place of worship (at the door of it, for instance) so the saints will put their voluntary offerings into it. That’s the way which was used by Joash king of Judah to collect money when he decided to restore the temple of the Lord, which had been profaned and plundered before he became king. Here is what we read in the Scripture: “And at the king's commandment they made a chest, and set it without at the gate of the house of the LORD. And they made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem, to bring in to the LORD the collection that Moses the servant of God laid upon Israel in the wilderness. And all the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, and cast into the chest, until they had made an end. Now it came to pass, that at what time the chest was brought unto the king's office by the hand of the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, the king's scribe and the high priest's officer came and emptied the chest, and took it, and carried it to his place again. Thus they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance. And the king and Jehoiada gave it to such as did the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and hired masons and carpenters to repair the house of the LORD, and also such as wrought iron and brass to mend the house of the LORD. So the workmen wrought, and the work was perfected by them, and they set the house of God in his state, and strengthened it. And when they had finished it, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, whereof were made vessels for the house of the LORD, even vessels to minister, and to offer withal, and spoons, and vessels of gold and silver. And they offered burnt offerings in the house of the LORD continually all the days of Jehoiada” (2 Chronicles 24:8-14). In the days of Jesus, in the temple of Jerusalem the offerings of the Jews were gathered in this way, for Mark says that one day Jesus “sat opposite the treasury* and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much” (Mark 12:41 – NKJV. * The Italian Bible Riveduta Version reads ‘la cassa delle offerte’ that is, ‘the offering box’ instead of ‘the treasury’).

The latter consists in exhorting the saints to set aside a sum of money (what they have decided in their hearts to give) at their home on the first day of every week, then some believers, put in charge of collecting the offerings, will collect the money. That’s the way Paul collected the money for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. Here is what Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: on the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2 - NKJV)