● When funds are needed to assist brothers in disaster areas or for special purchases requiring more money than is presently on hand, how should the matter be handled in the congregation?
Paul made known to the congregations their privilege to minister materially in behalf of the brothers in Jerusalem when famine conditions became severe there, but, of course, he did not specify how much individuals or congregations should give.—1 Cor. 16:1-3; 2 Cor. 9:5-7.
In the case of disaster, brothers in that general area, since they are in the best position to help, may individually desire to contribute funds, food, clothing and other items needed, with the elders coordinating the efforts. If the elders of these and other congregations deem it appropriate to make a contribution, and funds in the cash account are limited, the need could be presented to the congregation. A separate contribution box might be set up for this purpose. Or, a recommendation could be presented (for approval by the congregation) that the funds received during the next few meetings in the regular contribution box, above the normal expenses, be sent to those in need through the Society’s branch office.
If sufficient funds are not in the circuit account to pay for unexpected needs involving special purchases to be used in behalf of the circuit, the assembly overseer may explain the need to the other elders. (If a district matter cannot wait until elders for other circuits can meet at a circuit assembly, a letter containing the details may be sent to all the presiding overseers.) The elders in each congregation should discuss matters and then the proposal may be presented to the congregation for approval. They may assist according to what their circumstances permit.