GIVER OR TAKER?
I grew up in a great, life-shaping church. The Ferry Church of Christ is where I cut my teeth on all things God, the Kingdom, and church world.
I crawled underneath the pews during Sunday night church. It was an army soldier belly crawl through land mines of legs trying to reach the front of the sanctuary without anyone noticing. An abrupt, “Alan Ray… , get up here. What are you doing? You can’t do that!” from my dad ended the whole charade. Dad would briskly jerk me up, walk me outside, and give me a stern warning. It was also a good break from the lengthy Sunday night sermon for Dad.
At Ferry, my buddies Lance, Barry, and I would sneak downstairs to the church kitchen and eat the homemade communion bread. One Sunday night we got caught, and Shirley Hole said, “Boys, you can’t do that!”
We went to church on Sunday nights and every Wednesday night. Sometimes I wanted to stay at home on Wednesday nights. On Sunday nights, I forever missed “The Wonderful World of Disney” on TV. I can remember asking Mom, “Can’t I stay home tonight, Mom?” Mom would gruffly announce, “You can’t do that!”
I heard that same phrase from a gaggle of honking church ladies when the pastor’s wife showed up for Sunday morning church in a pant suit. “You can’t do that!”
Sunday offerings were collected by eight scowling men in black suits. Dad gave me an allowance of $2.50. He doled it out in two, one- dollar bills and two quarters. I was directed to put one quarter in my little white tithing envelope as commanded in the Bible. If I didn’t, I was confident I would hear God say (in front of the whole church), “Alan, you can’t do that!”
Growing up, do you think it was possible for me to see God as a taker rather than a giver? What’s your perspective on a heavenly Father? Giver or taker?
So many people get grumpy during giving/money series. Why is that? Why is a money-oriented message series so controversial? Why the bad attitudes? I would suggest, for those who scowl like the men in black suits, it’s a matter of seeing God as a taker rather than as a generous giver.
What’s our attitude supposed to be concerning giving? AND… how do we ever move to a place of generosity with joy? How do you do THAT? Let’s talk. On Sunday, we’ll be unpacking the right and wrong attitudes concerning generosity. Our text is a powerful one: —II Corinthians 9:6-13.
Last Sunday two people were baptized; during our money series! That’s what happens when the true focus is the Gospel and not our wallets. That’s what God does when the true focus is not money but our hearts. Bring a friend this Sunday. You never know what God may do during our “Your Money Is All We Want (and other myths about church giving)” series. This Sunday is our final installment.
See you at 9:00 & 11:00 a.m.!! OHHHH… AND DON’T FORGET TO SET YOUR CLOCKS FORWARD FOR SUNDAY. Spring forward, and lose an hour of sleep. We’ll have plenty of coffee waiting!
Weekly Giving |3.5.17
Weekly Need 39,700.00