Are Christians Moochers?

At the risk of ticking off my entire community, here is a letter I just wrote: (name changed to protect the innocent)

Dear Sarah,

I hope you’re not mad about what I said about Christians being moochers, but unfortunately I have found it to be true. Christians expect something for nothing. I have delivered workshops for free for years, and God called me to start my business. And yet, even though everyone’s eyes in my audience dance with joy when they hear me speak, most don’t spend a single penny. One time a vendor table cost me $100, and I only made $80, so I lost $20 and still had to pay tax and cost of product. A woman came up to my table and pumped me for my whole workshop on overcoming math frustration. After taking lots of notes, she walked away, not buying my $5 workshop, and thinking she was godly for not spending money. I felt used.

I guess what made me upset on Sunday is that we tithed twice because the previous month we forgot our checkbook, and by the next week we had no money. So 20% of our paycheck is gone, and we have my daughter’s medical bills. I am not worried about money. God has always provided in the past, and even if He doesn’t, I will draw closer to God by living on the street with my family. What I’m upset about is that if I did not have my Christian business, I would have over $3000 extra. My Christian business is harming my family financially. And yet I get tons of e-mails telling me how women are drawing closer to God because of what I’m posting. To God be the glory. I will continue to follow God even when it hurts my family. But I feel used.

That’s all I was saying. And Sarah, I love you, even if you disagree with me. And I hope that you still love me. Feel free to speak your mind. I was never in it for the money, but I certainly didn’t expect it to hurt my family financially when I was obeying God. My dad said, “Susan, what if God wanted you to start the website, and the only way He knew you would do it is by having your family nearly go bankrupt to cause you start the business? What if you will never make money at this?”

I said, “I will continue to follow God, even if it is to financial ruin.”

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15 Responses to “Are Christians Moochers?”

  1. Heidi... says:

    I am a born again Believer madly in love with Jesus Christ and I think you nailed this! Thank you for your candid honesty. I agree with you… Christians often act as if they are entitled to whatever is being offered FREE. Thanks for sharing this and I will pray lives are changed because of it.

    ~H

  2. Dawn says:

    You’re right, people want things for free! I am contacted by businesses (with large budgets, I might add) who want me to put in 5-20 hours’ worth of work for them, in exchange for a $5-15 product.

    Once I was contacted by the PR rep for a Christian DVD and music production company, who wanted me to review for them REGULARLY– 2-3 times per month. I would be “paid” an $11 DVD, for a review that would take me approx. 10 hours to complete (viewing twice- myself & then w/kids, writing & publishing the review, plus promotion of the post & posting on Amazon or another site of his choosing.) I explained to him that I don’t know anyone who works for $1.05 an hour, at least not in this country, and I sent him a list of my review rates. I didn’t hear back from him again, not that I expected to. Christians ARE mooches. I’m sure he found another blogger willing to jump at the “chance” to work her buns off for nothing, unfortunately. I don’t work for free.

    Susan, it sounds like you need to revamp your business practices because although it is in your heart to be generous and offer lots of support, sometimes you have to draw that line and say, “I go in depth about this in my workshop DVD. Here, it’s only $5”, and then leave it in their hands to make the decision. If I really felt I wanted that information I would pay the $5. You have to look at your business AS a business, even though it is also ministry for you. Even ministers are usually able to pay their bills.

    • Susan Evans says:

      Thank you, Dawn! I was very scared to post this because I love my readers with all my heart. Your experience has helped me to get perspective. Other people have sent me private messages today confirming that I’m right.

  3. Julie says:

    Dear Susan:
    It is truly unfortunate that there are a lot of people like this out there. I can tell you, though, that it’s not just Christians that are this way…people in general are this way. People are always looking for something free and they don’t stop to think that someone is trying to make a living doing what they do. This happens to a family member all the time – people seem to think that his livelihood is a hobby, when in reality, he is providing for his family through his business. I’m not sure what it is that makes people forget this. It is also unfortunate that these moochers outshine the true givers just because their actions are so awful.

    I admire your convictions to follow the Lord’s direction and I know that He will lead you through this and you will be blessed!

    God bless you – Julie

  4. Malea says:

    Not just Christians, but most people, unfortunately. Sigh…I get this a lot in my tutoring. People often complain that I charge for our first session, even when I offer it at half-price. I patiently explain that I put time and effort into the session before we even meet. For many that satisfies them, but not always. One woman called me some not very nice names even after I pointed out that my regular price is half what many others in my area charge. She just didn’t care that I am a human being who has to be able to live too.

    It takes all kinds. Keep your chin up, and do what YOU feel is best and what you feel is RIGHT.

  5. Tina says:

    I remember when our kids were little we attended a church where I worked in the children’s area. One day the children’s director,who I had worked close with in classes,called and wanted to know if I would call some businesses and solict donations. Now the donations were not going to be used to donate to the needy in the church or town ,but be used for prizes for the church youth. I was very uncomfortable with this idea and felt my spirit say a big “NO”. This was not a poor church,it was a growing church,undergoing renovation. I did not have a problem with donating to the church,I had gladly bought many Christmas decorations for the classroom and would spend money on supplys for lessons and snacks,or whatever was needed.I was fine with all that because it was my church home,I was not fine with asking outside the church,what kind of example were we setting for the world?
    I think christians and churches need to be givers not takers. I think some have a spirit of entitlement and don’t care that people have to provide for a family and have bills to pay.The idea that your a christian and I’m a christian so what you have to offer is suppose to be free,is wrong.

    • Susan says:

      I would have felt the same way, Tina, about taking donations from unbelievers just for prizes for a youth group. If it was to help the needy, that would have been different…

  6. Kathy says:

    I love freebies and I’m on a few frugal minded lists, and freebies can be a great way to market your business, get those emails, etc. But you can’t give it all away for free. You are a professional and your time is very valuable. You should not have done workshops for free imo, and it is sad that those that “use” you don’t wisen up. Thankfully there are those that benefit and desire to bless you with a purchase, etc., but you can’t count on it. You have a huge heart, Susan, and your website is out of this world awesome for hands-on learning. I pray that you will figure out a way to reap the blessings you deserve.

  7. Kathy says:

    A few more thoughts: I have found that those that call themselves “Christian” are no different than anyone else. Most strive to do good but we fail and we disappoint. In regards to your dilemma, Susan, you should value yourself worthy of payment. Also, as one who has worked in marketing, you often need to tell your customers what you want/expect them to do. Don’t give a bunch of stuff away and leave them to figure it out. Tell them that if they are blessed by what they see and read, that they should check out your offerings in the E-Store and/or leave a donation. I think that is perfectly acceptable. You are worthy of being paid for your hard work and excellent resources!

  8. lol Moochers! I am always looking for free things. Frugal, thrifty, wise, cheap, free loader, moocher… I guess it’s all in the perspective!

  9. The part that kills me is when you’re offering something that bears any resemblance to a ministry, if it helps people in any way, people think it should be free. So many of my blogging friends put huge amounts of time into their blogs, yet, because their blog is meant to help people, they feel guilty offering anything that costs money. (As if their readers don’t spend money elsewhere, but that’s beside the point.) And then you have the readers who will write to you and tell you that your curriculum, your cook book, whatever you’ve written or created, should be free because you’re a ministry. What a bunch of crap! Doctors help people all day long but I don’t see any free ones around. “A worker is worthy of his wages”.
    I know that many homeschoolers are living on one income, our family included. If you can’t afford something, fine. Don’t buy it. Just don’t act like the maker of the product owes it to you, or take up all of their time trying to get something for free.

    • Susan says:

      Yes, people have expected me to give my Unit Study membership site away for free, even though it’s cost me literally thousands of hours to produce. People seem to want something for nothing.

      Many times I buy homeschool products when they’re not on sale, on purpose, so the families can make a living. The sales are supposed to be for people who have never heard of you before, so that they feel that they are taking a lower risk in buying from you.

  10. renee barry says:

    We would all be lying if we said we didn’t want anything free. Unfortunately there is not much “good” stuff for free. Even though you said you didn’t care about the money — it sounds like you do. There’s nothing wrong with honesty. It may not be your underlying reason why you do what you do — but we all want to get paid. I don’t believe that God will ever put us out there for our families to go into ruin — never have I seen the righteous forsaken or their seed begging for bread — is the word. So I would just not worry about people wanting things for free — that’s all people — just do what you do and allow God to do the rest.

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