CGAF Gathering Financial Assistance Guidelines
The Abrahamic Faith Gathering committee recognizes that there are brethren whom have both short and long-term financial problems. We would like to do all that we can to make it financially possible for all brothers and sisters to attend. We certainly want to "contribute to the poor among the saints" and to do everything possible to enable any to attend with financial aid. However, as part of our own stewardship, we need to consider each applicant's individual situation and give Biblical advice for principles that may help find a solution. Below are sound scriptural guidelines that we hope will be considered as part of requests for financial aid.
- If in need, pray about your situation.
There are many verses that direct us to seek God's help when we are in need. It may be advisable to seek financial advice from local brethren or financial institutions to resolve current problems. See Matt 6:25-33, Matt 7:7-11, Prov 21:20
- Ask your own relative for financial help first.
Paul's instruction to Timothy in 1 Tim 5:8-10,16 makes it a principle that believers should first seek help from relatives. We realize that often this help is not possible either, but Paul's advice is meant for our own edification and use. Paul gave the principle that the church should not be burdened, except to help those truly in need.
- Strive to be debt-free.
Live simply, free from the love of money. Scripture clearly directs Christians to aim for zero to low debt. (Rom 13:8; Prov 22:7, 26-27) Financial bondage to the world (with all of its lusts) can be avoided by being diligent to not spend more than each person earns. This is a huge problem in our Western society and, sadly, seriously afflicts our own community. See also Matt 6:19-21; Ecc 5:10-12
- Plan ahead, save for Bible School by budgeting.
Just as each of us must plan for unknown expenses, good financial stewardship plans for future Bible Schools. Prov 13:11 says "He who gathers money little by little makes it grow." See also 1 Chron 29; Matt 26:6-13. Pay what you owe is another Biblical principle from Deut 23:21; Phil 18; Matt 5:26; Ecc 5:4-5
- If all else fails, the Church IS a financial resource for those in need.
The congregation of believers in both the Old and New Testaments are directed and recorded as assisting those in need. "Sharing" is a Biblical principle related to both fellowship and helping others who have greater needs than ourselves. Jesus gave us the command to "give to him who asks of you", so we realize that, God willing, we should share when asked. See Acts 2:45; Rom 15:26; Ex 23:10-11; Deut 15:7-11; Gal 2:10; Prov 14:31
- Consider giving back in other ways.
Anyone that receives financial aid is requested to try to give back in time by volunteering for any number of jobs at Bible School. So, please consider helping. There are many other ways to help that can benefit other brethren who may be unable to help in ways that you can.
The above is not meant to discourage any from attending the Abrahamic Faith Gathering or from requesting financial aid, but simply the committee's attempt to have a set of written guidelines. Please contact our Treasurer Bro. David Ross for any questions or thoughts you may have.