Ethics: Pastor Asks Congregation to Donate for Best-seller List

What would you do Wednesday!

Almost a year has passed since it was revealed that Mars Hill Church spent over $200,000 to put Mark Driscoll’s book Real Marriage on the New York Times best-seller list. In the following scenario, I would like to explore your reactions to your pastor directly asking for money to get his book on a best-seller list. Let’s think about it.

Sunday morning announcements are about to start as you make your way to the pew. You greet some friends around you as your family settles in. Your pastor steps up to the podium. He has a special request for the congregation.

Good morning, brothers and sisters. I have a special request that I believe, if God grants, will help spread his word to many unbelievers. My new book on the gospel and culture will be published in about three months. We have an opportunity for the book to gain massive exposure upon its release date. This is where I need your help! We can help the book gain huge exposure by getting it on the best-seller list. All we need to do is raise $150,000. Please, prayerfully consider if God would have you donate to the book fund within the next three months to achieve this milestone.  

What would you do?

  • Support the pastor and donate.
  • Prayer about donating.
  • Not donate, but encourage others to if they are so led.
  • Meeting with the pastor to ask him to rescind his plea.
  • Stand and protest the moment he finishes asking for donations.
  • Or…

Here I blog…


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tagged as , in Christianity,Church Issues,Culture,ethics

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 nickvahalik February 3, 2015 at 10:51 pm

The pastor’s job is to pastor the church. The role of the church is to support it’s members and build up the body of Christ and equipping for good works.

That said, while it is possible for books to make an impact in the culture at large, I think it’d be hard to make the claim that raising that amount of money would actually do any good. If my pastor desired to write and publish a book, I’d do what I could to support him in the cause, but I don’t think it would actually do any good. Has any other book that’s been “bought” onto a best seller list changed hearts and minds? What about movies?

So I’d meet with the pastor and ask him to rescind his plea, and to prayerfully consider the motives for doing what he is doing.


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