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.
In a few churches envelopes are used for the payment of pew rents. It saves the treasurer much trouble, and the pewholder much annoyance. The idea is capital. There is but one question, however, and that is this: Is it right to pay accounts on the Lord's Day? According to the secular view held by many concerning the support of the church, it would, most assuredly, be as wrong to pay pew rent on Sunday as to pay your grocer or butcher. But where giving for the support of the gospel at home is understood by the people to be as much an act of worship as giving for the spread of the gospel and the conversion of the heathen, then it becomes not only admissable, but a positive good, an enjoined duty. Let us bring back the offertory into our churches, and restore giving to its usurped place in Worship.
But the mere fact that the pews are rented is likely to be regarded as prima facie evidence of the predominance of the purely commercial idea in the management of the finances of the church, and this would render the payment of pew rents upon the Sabbath, to say the least, a very questionable procedure.
We annex a single, but good, specimen of the envelopes used;
By the rules of the church and congregation, all pew rents are payable monthly, in advance.
To Provide For Deficiencies.
Should the amount realized from the rent of the pews be insufficient to meet current expenses, such deficiencies should always be provided for at the beginning of the year. This might be done by:
1. Having the officers of the church make a liberal estimate for the ensuing year. It should include everything necessary - salaries, insurance, interest, repairs and all incidental expenses, including also shrinkage and other contingencies.
2. Make a fair estimate of the regular income from pews, collections, &c., and by deducting this from the former, all may see at once the amount still to be provided for.
3. Let this be apportioned among the regular attendants. It is usually best to appoint a goodly number on the apportionment committee, as it tends to help all who "feel poor" to see that they are even more able to give than others whose circumstances they have misjudged.
4. Each individual should then be notified of the amount which the committee had hoped he might be able to give, and asked to satisfy the same.
Such amounts might be paid in weekly, monthly, or quarterly installments, in advance, by the use of enve-lopes, or regular collectors might be sent to make regular collections.