Why do churches need PPP loans from the government? Yes, I have issues with nixing church and government. But that’s not what my question is about. It’s why do churches need these loans? Why are they short of funds? The easy answer is COVID. But is that too easy? For some, if not many or most, I believe it is too easy.
- the act of lending; a grant of the temporary use of something:
- the loan of a book.
- something lent or furnished on condition of being returned, especially a sum of money lent at interest:
- a $1000 loan at 10 percent interest.
Why do churches need PPP loans from the government?
Since I’m not concerned with the government part – today – the real question is why do churches need Paycheck Protection Loans during COVID? I can think of at least one scenario that might make sense.
If it’s a poor church, and if too many of the people in that church have lost their jobs due to COVID, then a shortage of funds is very likely.
However, in a place like Joel Osteen’s megachurch, which got millions of dollars of PPP loans, is that the case? And no, I’m not picking on Joel Osteen here. I’m asking the question of any church that went for these loads.
Remember, we’re only talking paychecks. Not the total expenses of the church. The scenario where many people lost jobs still applies. Obviously, the church has a drop in funds coming in to them.
What if churches need PPP loans but most members still have jobs?
This is getting closer to the heart of my question. What if churches need PPP loans but most members still have jobs? This means pretty much one thing. People with jobs, with little to no drop in income, aren’t giving to the church.
And that is exactly where I’m going. Churches where the income of the people attending doesn’t drop that much, but the church brings in significantly less money.
Why, when there’s not that much impact to attendees, do churches need PPP loans?
There’s one thing that comes to mind here. It’s the rallying cry of so many churches, especially the Evangelical Christian churches. Megachurches. The cry that in-person services are essential. That Christians apparently can’t worship God without meeting in large groups.
First off, what ever happened to the Holy Spirit? The third person of the Trinity? The Holy Spirit who is with us always?
Jn 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
Jn 14:22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
Jn 14:23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
Jn 14:25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Jn 14:28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
“Come now; let us leave.”
Got it? If we’re Christians, we have the Holy Spirit in us. Of course, that doesn’t mean we listen for Him. Or listen to Him. We’re free to ignore the Holy Spirit. For a thorough look at that, I invite you to check out The Beatitudes over on my other site.
If we listen to the Holy Spirit, does that impact whether churches need PPP loans?
The answer is yes. If we listen to the Holy Spirit, churches have much less, if any, need for PPP loans. But don’t just take my word for it. Check this out.
2Co 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
2Co 9:12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
The Holy Spirit will be prompting us to give to the church.
What goes wrong that causes churches to need PPP loans?
Remember what I wrote earlier about (especially) Megachurches that want in-person services? And we have churches, including large ones, getting PPP loans. For those that don’t have lots of people with incomes impacted by COVID – why are the loans needed?
There’s something I’ve wondered about from the beginning of the in-person service demands. Is it about money? It seems obvious from the numbers that COVID makes lots of people very sick. And lots of people die from it. Including Christians. Aren’t we supposed to love people? Aren’t people’s lives important? And aren’t we setting a poor example to non-Christians when we demand the right to have in-person services, even though they put people’s lives at risk?
So it looks to me, and I’m sure to others, including non-Christians, that the church is more interested in money than in people’s lives.
Conclusion – Why do churches need PPP loans from the government?
So what’s the bottom line here?
Believe it or not, it’s not all about the pastors of those churches going for PPP loans. Partly, but not entirely.
Part of it goes to those who don’t go to church, and therefore don’t give to the church.
I mean, why do we give to the church? Hint – it’s not payment for a good service with charismatic speakers and great music! We aren’t buying tickets to a performance! We are giving to the church so they can do God’s work. And if that’s not what’s happening, we should probably consider at least two different things. Are we really Christians? Is this church where we should be going? And other things as well.
So the bottom line is this. If we aren’t impacted by COVID, we should be cheerfully, and regularly, giving to our church. Whether we actually meet in person or not! And if we aren’t doing that, we should pray to God and ask why not?