In this day of mass hysteria of Christian leaders and organizations asking for money through every media available, the words of Watchman Nee caution us to pause a moment and consider -- is this God's way?
"This question of finance has most important issues. In grace God is the greatest power, but in the world mammon is the greatest. If God's servants do not clearly settle the question of finance, then they leave a vast number of other questions unsettled too. Once the financial problem is solved, it is amazing how many other problems are automatically solved with it. The attitude of Christian workers to financial matters will be a fairly good indication as to whether or not they have been commissioned of God. If the work is of God it will be spiritual, and if the work is spiritual the way of supply will be spiritual. If supplies are not on a spiritual plane then the work itself will speedily drift on to the plane of secular business. There is no feature of the work that touches practical issues as truly as its finance.
Faith is the most important factor in God's service, for without it there can be no truly spiritual work. Every worker, no matter what his ministry, must exercise faith for the meeting if all his personal needs and all the needs of his work. In God's Word we read of no worker asking for, or receiving, a salary for his services. That God's servants should look to human sources for the supply of their needs has no precedent in scripture. We do read there of a Balaam who sought to make merchandise of his gift of prophecy, but he is denounced in no uncertain terms. We read also of a Gehazi who sought to make gain of the grace of God, but he was stricken with leprosy for his sin. No servant of God should look to any human agency, whether an individual or a society, for the meeting of his temporal needs. If they can be met by the labor of his own hands or from a private income, well and good. Otherwise he should be directly dependent on God alone for their supply, as were the early apostles. The Twelve Apostles sent out by the Lord had no fixed salary, nor had any of the apostles sent out by the Spirit; they simply looked to the Lord to meet all their requirements.
The first question anyone should face who believes himself truly called of God is the financial question. If a man can trust God, let him go and work for Him. If not, let him stay at home, for he lacks the first qualification for the work. He must be able to look to the Lord alone for the meeting of his daily wants. (There is an idea prevalent that if a worker has a settled income he can be more at leisure for work and consequently will do it better. But as a matter of fact, in spiritual work there is a need for an unsettled income, because that necessitates intimate fellowship with God, constant, clear revelation of His will, and direct divine support).
All propaganda in connection with the work must be avoided. With utter honesty of heart the man of God must trust in God and make the needs of his work known to God alone. Nothing must be done by way of advertisement in the hope of receiving material help. This is displeasing to God and hurtful to the work. It is a shameful thing to profess trust in God and then broadcast our needs or the needs of our work to others. It is a shameful thing for the servant of God to have one eye on Him and one eye on man.
But does not the scripture say, -- 'The laborer is worthy of his hire' and, 'The Lord ordained that those who proclaim the Gospel should live of the Gospel'? Absolutely! As the hearts of believers are touched by God, they give gifts to His servants, so that while these servants receive gifts through men, their trust is still entirely in God. It is only to Him their needs are told, and it is He who touches the hearts of His children to give. God does it all. There is no human communication involved. Did you forget that it is His work?"
"May the face of God radiate with joy because of you."