Our policy on money and possessions
For the life of a Church, the model that Christ and the disciples left us was that possessions and money were to be shared. This can be seen in Luke 8.3 —
“The twelve were with Him and also some women … these were helping to support them out of their own means.” And in Acts 4.32 —
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own but they shared everything they had.”
Those who form the core of Drury Church follow this example. However, because we are a mission base and a refuge for those seeking a time of healing and restoration, we do not expect those coming for short periods to put all their savings into the common purse. We do, however, expect that those with finances would not be expecting to draw on the resources of the community for things above what is provided, and that when they need something extra, would use their own money. This includes those going out on missions. We seek to involve all who come to stay at Drury in the principle described by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 8.13-15 in which the key phrase is, “that there might be equality”.
There are those living at Drury who have no outside income or any private reserves, and so the Church gives them a small weekly allowance. This allowance is in accordance to their needs, not to the job they do. The key word here is “needs”. For example, the principal of the school, if he has no other income, would get the same allowance as the one who does the gardening. Those coming for a short visit, or those coming to stay for a considerable time, must appreciate that we are a mission, and we are not an employer, and we do not pay “wages”. Anyone working here must be as a volunteer, and not expect to build up their assets, but on the contrary, be willing to share them for the Lord’s work while in Drury. This is in accordance with the teaching of our Master in —
Matthew 6.19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.”
God promises to supply all our needs, and we have found Him absolutely faithful. If we have a team going on a mission, for example, and we are praying for the airfares, we expect those going who have money, to pay for their fare, and not burden the community. How odd it is to be praying for money when you already have it. We don’t support the idea of laying it aside “just in case”. This is only encouraging the possibility of us staying in control of our affairs and taking our direction out of God’s hands. We would soon become just like those in the world. Matthew 6.21 Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Those receiving an allowance from the Church are expected to pay their own tax as self-employed persons. Drury Church is a registered charitable trust, and not being an employer, expects those working on the Church property to be involved in the ministry of the Church sacrificially. Drury Church is a non-profit organisation, and any income generated by those who work is used for the needs of the workers and missions, which form a large part of the church’s work. The needs of an individual worker are sometimes in question, and here the volunteer is expected to take the ruling of the eldership as to how much a particular need is to be met by the Church. For example, a worker may feel he needs a new car. If, however, this idea is not supported by the community, or that the price that the individual wants the community to pay for a vehicle is inappropriate, then the rule the Church asks all to abide by is that that person must accept the final decision of the eldership. This principle is crucial to the smooth running of the Mission Base, and must be seriously considered by anyone considering staying on the Drury site.
Anyone coming to stay and willing to work an eight hour day will receive free accommodation and free access to the food that is produced on the land. If they want anything from the shops, then they are expected to pay for it themselves. If they have no private resources, then the Church will give them a small allowance to meet that need in accordance to the number in their family. Anyone staying who cannot work, should pay $80 a week if they are able. If they are not able to pay, and the Church feels they are a worthy case, then the Church will happily support them. Anyone who is thinking of coming who does not want to work, should not come. Those coming who don’t want to work a full day should pay $80 a week and work at least 2 hours a day, including Saturday morning in the garden. 2 Thessalonians 3.6-10 “We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it.”
Luke 17.10 So you also, when you have done everything that you were told to do, should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.”
Following this teaching of our Master is the only way for a community of Christians to live in harmony for any length of time. As a mission base and a “Haven for ships,” we are willing to train those who come to us, but we ask in return that those coming are willing to be trained according to the teachings of our Lord Jesus. Grumbling and complaining is a serious sin in the Body of Christ, so we ask that any difficulties are immediately brought to the morning prayer meeting so they can be lifted to the Lord. Anyone finding this principle of service too humbling for them should be gracious and either ask our Lord for more grace, or quietly leave without drawing attention to themselves.
Further, anyone coming to live in Drury must undertake not to sue the Church or in any other way put the Church under pressure to obtain any income they feel they have helped to generate while working on the property. A gracious exit leaves the door open to return at a later date when things are often seen in a different light. We are pilgrims on a journey and our Lord has asked us to share each other’s burdens — something we have learned to do joyfully. Galatians 6.2
“Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
We began our journey together here at Drury in 1990. Prior to this beginning some of us had visited other communities and read the works of their founders. We discovered that the Biblical principles that have been outlined in this article were common to them all. Even though our history has been relatively short, we now can testify together with them that this shared life is good, and leads to bearing much fruit for our Lord Jesus.