Is it biblically correct if our church sells tickets outside i.e. in the community) or in-side (i.e. to members) in order to raise money for a specific need at a mission or for an individual?
The Bible records only a few occasions when money was given to others for ministry. One significant passage is found in 1 Corinthians.
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections are made when I come. (NASB) 1 Cor. 16:1-2
New Testament Example
It appears that the early Christians gave their financial gifts on the first day of week which was Sunday. These gifts were used to minister to one another. In 1 Corinthians the gifts were used for fellow Christians in Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:3). These believers collected the money from among themselves and gave it to others who were in need. This is a major reason to give. Christians gave to Christians. But how did they give? We do not know. Scripture never tells us.
Can Christians collect money from non-Christians to raise money for their church or for an individual? Scripture never says no, but the only examples that scripture provides are of Christians giving to other Christians. Ultimately, it is God who provides the money for ministry and individuals. It is the Holy Spirit that moves believers to give money for the needs of ministries. Collecting money from non-Christians appears to say, “I am unhappy with the Lord’s provision.”
How About Selling Tickets
Can Christians sell tickets to non-Christians to raise money for their church or for an individual? Again, scripture does not say anything, but why sell tickets? When it is necessary to sell tickets it appears that God is not moving in the hearts of Christians to donate the needed funds or that Christians do not want to give what the church needs. Is a gimmick being used to motivate Christians to give money? Has your church spent time in prayer asking God to provide for their needs? If this is an ongoing support problem, is it possible that God does not want the ministry to continue? These are some questions to ask yourself and your leaders. The best approach is to depend on the Lord to provide the money that is needed through direct donations.
Selling tickets also appeals to our greed. The selling of tickets motivates Christians to give in order to gain some material benefit. The selling of tickets does not motivate Christians to give to the Lord with pure motives. This approach appeals to greed in the heart and not to pure motives to give the Lord.