Can you please give me either examples or word for word scriptures speaking about what the elder's should do with or how they are to spend the Lord's money? Ex: Where is the authority to have a kitchen, gymnasim, water fountain, bathroom etc...? Thank you in advance for your response!
The New Testament directly teaches that money was spent 1) for the poor among the saints (Romans 15:26), and 2) for support of those preaching the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:14). However, direct statements and examples are not the only way that the New Testament authorizes us to do something. The New Testament also authorizes by expediency.
The idea of expediency is that when we have a New Testament command in the scriptures, then we have the authority to do what is necessary to fulfill that command. For example, Jesus said, "Go into all the world and teach the gospel..." (Mark 16:15, 16). How do we "go?" We can "go" by walking or riding. Those two actions expedite the command to "go." If I were to "go" across the street to preach the gospel, it would be expedient to walk; hence, I would be authorized to walk. If I were to "go" to China to preach the gospel, it would be expedient to fly in a plane; hence I would be authorized to fly.
I think we can agree that God expects the church to work for the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58). What is the church to do? Basically, the church has two works that she must do. First, she must teach the truth (1 Timothy 3:15). Second, she must exemplify the truth (Ephesians 5:1, 2). She teaches the truth by employing teachers, preachers, evangelists, ministers, and others who are involved in the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). She exemplifies the truth by keeping herself pure (Eph.5:27, Hebrews 3:13), worshipping God (John 4:24) and doing good to all men (Galatians 6:10).
In carrying out these works, it should be noted that elders have authority to oversee/supervise (Acts 20:28). Hence, part of their supervisory role involves determining how the money from the local collection should be spent in carrying out the work of the church. One obvious example is that of the assembly of the church. Since the church must assemble to worship (Hebrews 10:25) there must be a place of assembly. Many elderships find it expedient to have a facility that can expedite our assembling together. When people assemble together, they have various needs such as water, restrooms, etc. An eldership also has the authority to determine how the building is going to be used in the work of keeping the church pure and exhorting the faithful. Many times elders decide to include kitchens in the design of the building so that members may assemble together to have a common meal with one another. This is all part of the work of the church in keeping the church pure by showing love toward one another--exemplifying the gospel of Christ.
Local elderships have been given broad latitude in determining what is expedient for the work of the church at the local congregation (Hebrews 13:17, 1 Thess.5:12, 13), and that latitude should be respected. What is expedient at one place may not be at another. Each eldership has the authority to determine such.