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.
This plan has already been presented on page 87, and it remains only to present a specimen adapted to securing money for new enterprises, and to add a word as to its advantages.
The following letter was used several years ago by a very prominent pastor in the State of New York, and in response to this letter several times the anticipated amount was pledged. Good as the letter is, the subscriptions which it secured were the result of the preaching which had preceded it:
[confidential.] It is proposed to build a meeting-house and other rooms for the use of the church. To do this work honestly and well, it is proposed to spend one year in raising a part of the money in advance; and in getting plans and making contracts.
One year -
- plans and contracts. . .
build and cover in .. .
plaster, finish and fur-
pay for in full and ded-
It is proposed to expend not less than twenty thousand dollars nor more than fifty thousand - according to the ability shown by the return of these cards of confidential subscription. Any member of the church and congregation or any friend of the church is allowed and invited to subscribe. But no one is urged.
To help build our meeting-house I think that I shall be able to give
Not less than $ ........and
Not more than $ ......
Each year for four years, beginning April 1, 1871. Or I can make in one payment $ ........
Trusting in the Lord to help me, I hereby subscribe the same as noted above.
This plan is "free from certain faults which are conspicuous in nearly all existing methods. For example, it is entirely independent of personal solicitation, which from any point of view is an unmixed evil. Contributions for important objects in many of our churches are gathered by two or three self-sacrificing individuals, who go from house to house, and from office to office, to solicit donations. It is a laborious and vexatious undertaking. Those who go about on such an errand must falter out apologies for intrusion, must often receive ungracious replies or refusals, as though they had asked a personal favor, and even when received politely must make some sacrifice of self respect; and on the other hand, those who are solicited have ground of complaint. The collector may call at a time when they cannot give his claims due attention, they must decide while the collector stands before them with paper in hand, they must not give less than others have given, or less than they gave last year. Personal solicitation is an evil which can be truly characterized only by calling it a nuisance. It is almost fatal to a genuine benevolence to give only when asked; and it is a shame to send any persons on these begging expeditions, whether they are young ladies, who should be forbidden to go on such errands, or the pastors of our societies, who ought to be allowed to devote their time to better work. Such a system is free from this grave objection. Each one decides for himself and by himself. He may take a week or two for reflection."