Metallic Pea

Frustrating People Since 1971.

Money Can’t Buy Everything, It’s True

with 5 comments

‘Then they faithfully brought in the contributions, tithes and dedicated gifts…’  ~ II Chronicles 31:12a  

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From The Book of Church Order of the Presbyterian Church in America, Chapter 9-2:

 

‘It is their [the deacons’] duty also to develop the grace of liberality in the members of the church, to devise effective methods of collecting the gifts of the people, and to distribute these gifts among the objects to which they are contributed.’ 

I have pondered this admonition since my recent time in Officer Training and days such as this coming Sabbath (during which I am scheduled to deliver the Offeratory Prayer) only serve to emphasise it.  What are the best (which is not necessarily synonymous with the most ‘effective’) methods for encourage the members to give liberally of their money to the Church?  Coercion is prohibited (or so I have been told) and persuasion often fails.  (Guilt?)

I am open to–and entreating–suggestions in this area.  What would you advise as the proper course to accomplish this end?  What would you respond well to?

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Written by ninepoundhammer

February 29, 2008 at 2:13 pm

5 Responses

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  1. I think that the best encouragement is for the congregation to see that its leaders are speaking joyfully about giving, sharing testimony about giving, and joyfully giving themselves. Of course, you don’t want to pridefully show off your giving. At the same time, most people, I have observed, are converted to ideas or practices because they see its effect in another person’s life.

    For a Biblical example of this: Janelle and I have been reading through Nehemiah. A few nights ago, we read a chapter in which Nehemiah willingly gave up his rights to tribute/salary, even though he deserved it. This set an example for all of Israel to see: giving to the work of the Lord was more important than storing up treasure for themselves, even treasure that was technically/legally due them.

    Brian

    February 29, 2008 at 2:39 pm

  2. Guilt trips, or any kind of manipulation completely puts me on the offensive. Honesty and respect are much better starting places. Reminding us of the Christian attitude of possessions: that everything we own is God’s property and given to us only through the will of God. As well as clearly stating the intended use and need of the money to serve as additional reminders.

    We had a sermon a couple of months ago on tithing and the church’s budget, which could have been extremely dull but turned out to be the best sermon I have heard in a while. It achieved this because it was basically a summary of my church’s activities over the past year, showing what was actually done with the money, which additionally showed outwardly the philosophy guiding our church’s decisions. It was very encouraging.

    Jacob

    February 29, 2008 at 4:48 pm

  3. I agree with both of you. Yet, as studies have shown, only about 10% of church members actually tithe. Probably the largest obstacle to tithing–at least in my experience–is that folks fear that they won’t be able to make ends meet. Still, God has commanded us to give to Him of our firstfruits. It’s a crossroads of faith, really.

    As the economy worsens (and all indications are that it will), I can foresee this becoming an increasingly important issue–not only for the Church writ large but in the walk of individual Christians.

    ninepoundhammer

    February 29, 2008 at 7:24 pm

  4. sounds like a reversal of faith in God. Do you trust him to provide for the church? Like the gospel, it is not up to you to persuade, but to just make clear the truth. If you are concerned about church’s tithing, that puts you in the same boat about people who abstain from tithing because of worry. Maybe it is gods will for this church to go through lean times?

    God is sovereign in all things (even national elections), don’t try and manipulate things because you see calamity ahead (as I am prone to do). Just go back and preach the gospel and the glory of God’s grace. If God chooses to open their hearts (and wallets), let it fall to Him. You are only to make clear the grace we have received, not to convince people. When people are aware of their sin and the debt paid for them, then will give out of love and not obligation.

    I find it hard to trust God in the practical things because I seem the pending calamity if things aren’t solved my way. Even though I am intelligent and educated (ok, some may debate these points), that does not mean that there are some areas I handle and some God handles. I shouldn’t try and solve problems first in my own power and then when things get harry, turn to God. He is sovereign in all things and has called us to have faith in all thing, even those we feel skilled in doing ourselves.

    Jackasic

    March 1, 2008 at 8:36 am

  5. I may have given the wrong impression but I think you misinterpreted my sentiment. But, rest assured, I am not worrying over it. Promoting liberal giving is a duty I have been given and I take it seriously. My post was just a way of getting outside perspectives and suggestions. It is not a crossroads of faith for me–I meant that is how some others react and, therefore, giving declines.

    As for lean times, I agree that we should not worry there either. However, we cannot fail to store up and plan for such times. Yes, God is sovereign, but He also has given us duties. (Otherwise, wearing a seatbelt could be seen as a sinful lack of faith, right?) The alternative is either a ‘Let Go and Let God’ mentality or a Christian stoicism (neither of which is proper).

    ninepoundhammer

    March 1, 2008 at 1:59 pm


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