SULLIVAN BAPTIST CHURCH
BENEVOLENCE FUND POLICY AND GUIDELINES
1 John 3:17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his
heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order:
if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are
leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we
command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.
SOURCE OF FUNDING
The Benevolence program is funded through the church’s annual budgeting process, and through the receipt of special contributions so noted by individuals and/or families (members of SBC are not encouraged to contribute to the Benevolence Fund in lieu of regular giving to the general fund). Contributions to the Benevolence Fund may not be earmarked or otherwise designated for particular purposes or recipients. The leadership of SBC may choose, at its discretion, to decline certain contributions that are designated or earmarked.
All committee members are to be apprised of the need for extreme confidentiality regarding personal issues of requestors, and all matters should remain within the confines of the committee members. The chairperson may divulge personal information to appropriate individuals outside of the committee such as the pastor, or minister to students.
RECIPIENTS OF ASSISTANCE
In order of priority, as funding allows, recipients of assistance from the Benevolence Fund shall be:
• Members of Sullivan Baptist Church
• Regular attendees of Sullivan Baptist Church
• Members of the community
INTENDED PURPOSE AND LIMITS OF ASSISTANCE
The stated purpose of the Benevolence Fund is to minister to individuals or families during a time of hardship or crisis by assisting them with their basic needs, such as shelter (including water and electric), food, and depending on the circumstance, transportation. A Benevolence Request Form should be completed and submitted by the requestor. If financial assistance is requested, copies of bills must be submitted and must be in the individual’s name requesting the assistance. Monies are payable to the vendor, never the requestor.
Needs that may NOT be met by the Benevolence Fund include:
• Funeral or cremation expenses.
• Telephone or internet.
• Paying off credit cards.
• Needs of individuals wanted by the law or for paying fines as a result of breaking the law.
• Legal fees arising from criminal behavior.
• Housing for unmarried couples.
• Child care.
• Gambling debts.
• Penalties relating to late payments or irresponsible actions.
• School assistance or business investments.
Benevolence assistance is intended to be a temporary help during a time of crisis, a source of last resort when the requestor has explored all other possibilities of help from family, friends, savings or investments. Benevolence gifts are intended to assist in the short term while the recipient works through the difficulty. As such, the recipient must make a good-faith effort to rectify the situation. Gifts from the benevolence fund are intended to be a one-time assistance. In unusual circumstances, the Benevolence Committee may decide to help more than once, but as a general rule the requestor should expect that any additional request will not be considered for at least 6 months.
Under no circumstance is a gift from the benevolence fund to be considered a loan. No gift may be repaid, either in part or in full, in money, or in labor. If the recipient desires to give to the church at a later time, this individual is to be encouraged to give directly to the general fund of the church.
INTENDED PURPOSE AND LIMITS OF ASSISTANCE (Cont’d)
It is possible that budget training, financial or other biblical counseling may be advised prior to any assistance. Assistance will not be provided to anyone who, in the committee’s estimation, will have negative or irresponsible behavior reinforced by receiving financial assistance.
Those requesting assistance must be willing to give the committee permission to follow up on any of the information provided.
*The above policy and guidelines are set forth by the Benevolence Committee this day, Wednesday, May 28, 2014.