Monday, December 6, 2010

Can We Learn To Celebrate Giving?

I had the great joy of returning to one of my former pastorates recently. When the pastor said, “It’s time for the offering,” people started cheering. “Yea! Great! All right!” THAT was a surprise.

I leaned over to my neighbor and said, “Are they cheering for the offering? I don’t think I have ever seen that. I’m SURE I never saw that when I was the pastor here.” That is exactly what was happening!

I grew up in a traditional worship style where a shouted “Amen!” would have required performing CPR on a traditional soul. My first congregation taught me the joy of engaging in worship. However, never had I heard anyone cheer when the preacher said it was time for the offering.

I liked it. The offering is the true high point of worship – the time when we have the great privilege of showing our gratitude and dedication to God. While I am sure some people think it may be irreverent to cheer at the announcement of the offering, I believe it is the right response.
What would it be like if cheering for the offering spread across our denomination? If churches – even for just one Sunday – would let out a respectful cheer when the pastor said, “It’s now time to share our tithes and offerings”? Somehow, we have to find a way to communicate to our people that, as beneficiaries of Christ’s gifts, we must be grateful, generous and joyful givers. When it is time for the offering, let’s find a way to celebrate.

One of our connectional giving opportunities—the General Administration Fund—may not have the catchiest name. However, it enables amazing things—financial accountability for our church, the quadrennial General Conference where key decisions are made and much, much more. Let’s celebrate and give generously.

--adapted from an article by the Rev. Dr. Mary John Dye, Western NC Conference

For more information on the General Administration Fund, click here.

God Is Still In Control!

Miss Lladale Carey
Web Content Producer
United Methodist Communications

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