This section is from the "How To Pay Church Debts And How To Keep Churches Out Of Debt" book, by Rev. Sylvanus Stall. Amazon: How To Pay Church Debts And How To Keep Churches Out Of Debt.
There still are a goodly number of congregations in rural districts and new fields, which seek to provide for the support of a pastor and current expenses by circulating a subscription at the end of each year. This method, or want of method, is doubtless an outgrowth of the early years when many congregations sought to supplement the amount received from mission boards by circulating a subscription each fall, which was about the only time in all the year when new settlers had any ready money, and would consequently prefer to pay then for the entire year. But while the occasion which begat it has passed away, still the horrid practice, after having outlived its usefulness, continues to hobble along the decades, yea, and even centuries.
If there is a single thing that can be said in favor of this plan, we confess to not knowing what it is, unless it be that the little which is accomplished by means of it is better than nothing at all.
There is much which may be said against the annual subscription plan;
1. It almost universally fails to provide the necessary amount, and leads to questionable methods for securing the deficiency.
2. It leaves the church or its officers to struggle each year, and all the time, with accruing obligations.
3. It annually tempts all who have become estranged from the pastor to withhold their support and to use their influence to defeat the success of the measure, in order to "starve the minister out."
4. It induces people to seek occasion to find all manner of fault, in order to avoid the payment of a just, or equitable amount.
5. It asks in a single payment for an amount, which, if paid in weekly installments, would seem insignificant, but when asked at the end of the year seems startling. Many who could not pay $5 at any one time could readily pay ten cents a week, and others who would be able to pay $50 in weekly installments would not think of giving the whole amount in a single payment.
6. It is unscriptural, unphilosophical and unsuc-cessful.