This article first published in the Malaysian Spark.
THERE are thousands of small independent churches operating all over Malaysia.
You can find them operating from shoplots, offices, warehouses, old bungalows and even hotels.
One particular church in Perak operates from a badminton hall.
Malaysia is probably the most liberal Muslim country in the world which allows any Christian claiming to have received a â€˜callingâ€™ from the Lord to open and operate a church.
All one has to do to get started is find a vacant premise, pay the deposit, put up a signboard, buy some chairs, carpet and a few musical instruments.
Many professionals such as engineers and accountants have left their steady jobs to become church operators, claiming the Lord told them to do so.
While we donâ€™t want to speculate what the Lord might have or might not have told these individuals, it is almost a trend nowadays for many Christians to open their own churches.
Some even have two or more churches under their belt, catering to the different races.
Even as we write this, someone out there might be opening or planning to open their own church.
Why? Because operating a church is a highly-lucrative business.
There is simply no business as easy, as powerful and as convincing as running your own church.
People tend to gravitate towards those who are doing Godâ€™s work.
Most of these independent churches make it compulsory for their members to donate 10% or more of their monthly income in the form of tithes.
And members will readily give these tithes without questioning because â€˜it is written in the Bibleâ€™.
Letâ€™s do a simple math;
Assuming you run a church with around 200 members and each member donates an average of RM300 a month in tithesâ€¦ that comes up to whopping RM60,000 per month.
Minus rental (say RM5,000) and other expenses (say another RM5,000), you as the church operator will have RM50,000 in hand each month.
Thatâ€™s a lot of money but praise God for your windfall.
And since you only need to spend most of your time in the church on Sundays and a few other odd days, you will be free to play golf the rest of the days in the month.
One particular church in Selangor has a membership of over 1,000 and the bulk of them come from the higher income group. The church is run by a grey-haired uncle known for his off-keyed rendition of gospel hymns.
So letâ€™s do a simple math again;
1,000 members x RM500 tithes per member = RM500,000 per month.
And the amazing part is that church-owner uncle doesnâ€™t need to pay rental because the premise was donated by a faithful church member who has since passed away.
So donâ€™t waste any more time after reading this.
Call up your real estate agent to find you an empty shop lot and God willing, you too can open your own church.
Disclaimer: Independent churches referred here are also known as non-denominational churches which operate autonomously and are predominantly Protestant.- by Walter Selvamoney