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.
The plan of dividing the entire amount of the debt into equal portions, and calling them shares, has worked well in many parishes. This may be illustrated by an example or two. A Presbyterian church in the state of Wisconsin had a debt of $1,000. This amount was divided into 274 shares, of $3.65 each, and was taken by 130 persons. Thirty shares, amounting to $109.50, was the largest number taken by any one individual. The others ranged from that number down to a single share.
In some instances it may be a good idea to arrange the supporters of the church, according to wealth and modifying circumstances, into four, five, or more classes, and then apportion a uniform number of shares to each individual of the same class. This may aid in making the final amount adequate to pay the entire debt, for one of the disheartening results of raising a debt is to canvass the entire field, and then, at the last, to find that there still remains a balance unprovided for.
Where the amount to be raised is larger, the shares may be divided into sums of $12, or $24, or $50, or more, and then be paid in regular installments of $1, $2, or $5, weekly, semi-monthly or monthly, as the committee may see fit. The amounts may be paid to the treasurer direct, or placed in a sealed envelope and deposited in the collection basket each Sabbath as a free-will offering.
Where the execution of this plan is entrusted into the hands of a judicious and persevering committee, there is little or no reason why it should not be rendered a success. In well-to-do congregations, it is best suited to the liquidation of the smaller indebtednesses; but where the entire membership is composed of persons of but limited means, it will be found very serviceable in enabling them to provide for a large amount, by extending the payments over a greater period of time.