I recently caught a whiff of what some people are calling a charitable event, building a school and a church in the hood. Not such a bad idea but when you see the costs of the project (over 1 million dollars) it makes you wonder if this is good for the hood?
The idea is they tear down a old church, and a few houses, in the hood then build a new building housing a school & a church. They even have a group that is raising cash of this endeavor, dubbed as ‘friends of said church’. They picked the right name, they are friends of the church, but of the neighborhood…that’s another question altogether. Funny, they have a fundraiser ‘Lobster Night’ at $50.00 a ticket, who do you think is going to that? Nice well-meaning, rich folk.
I think the idea is a type of ‘sound good’ church politics in the name of helping a community but in the end it doesn’t add up. They are raising money to tear houses down (I think 2) and a church to build a new school/church. My problem is that most people in that neighborhood can’t even afford to own a house yet a church has money to destroy 2? Yet they are supposed to be identifying with the needs of the community. Is that what the community asked for…a new school & church?
It’s a group with no connection to the community and they see charity as building churches and a school, a very missionary endeavor. They have money to give yet they give it to finance buildings, same sh*t I railed on another church for building a $250,000 parking lot. These are the ideas that make us (Christians) look nice but mean very little in the actual helping of people. They are giving in a mis-guided way, name how one person specifically is helped in this project (that doesn’t exist now)?
I see a mis-management of funds in the allocation of this cash. That million dollars could go towards programs to help people that want to buy houses, fix their homes, fix the church, get an education (external sources), tutoring programs for their children, etc. Tonnes of ideas but then you have to look at the mentality behind it.
These people already have a school & church in the same building, but the building is a little broken down. It makes sense to fix it up or replace the church (to me anyways). My problem comes in when I think the church is exclusionary. They will help the have’s (people of professed faith in their ranks) and won’t help the have-not’s (people of not professed faith). Thus you see a church helping itself with the money raised. The people around them get very little except to see a nice building on their street, which they have no investment in.
Can the money be spent better? Yes. Is it another case of church (a building) over church (the people)? Yes. Is it another case for people to bat their eyelashes and say nothing? Yes, God forbid you should raise real questions about what good this is doing anyways (since it looks good). I have been calling for giving like this from churches (which I applaud) to help wipe out poverty, but I’ll never see that day if people think this is the answer. What do you think? Is there a better solution or am I too far gone?