Something interesting happened at my church this past Sunday.
Our church is committed to serving the underserved and reaching out to the disenfranchised in our community. It is our desire to not simply “reach out”, but to build relationships across racial/economic lines, incorporating people from all walks of life into the core of our church.
This past Sunday, an elderly man in the community, who has never attended our church, heard what we are doing and gave another man in our church $10.00 to place in the offering plate. Also, someone, I don’t know who, gave an anonymous $1,000.00 donation.
A few weeks back, another person in our church, who has absolutely nothing of material value, with tears of gratitude in his eyes, gave an offering of $5.00; and during that same week I got an unsolicited gift in the mail from someone who lives out of town for $10,000.00.
$10.00, $1,000.00, $5.00, $10,000.00.
And here is the thing: We never collect a “formal” offering at our church; and very rarely is anything ever said about money!
But God has created us with a desire to give; it’s part of our DNA; it’s part of what it means to be created in His image. Deep down everyone knows it is better to give than to receive. When we get out of our own way, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, we will give, and we will give out of gratitude, not guilt.
“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
(2 Corinthians 9:7, New Living Translation)
And the amount you give doesn’t matter. It’s the attitude in which you give.
(Endnote: In case you are curious, here is what happens at FCC. We meet in a school gymnasium. We worship by sitting around tables, and take time during the service to talk, fellowship, and pray for each other around the table. In the center of a gym (the focus of our attention) is a communion table. Every Sunday we take communion by encouraging people to walk to the communion table, tear a piece of bread from a loaf, and dip it into a cup of juice. On the communion table are two baskets where people can place their tithes & offerings as they take communion.)