Monday, February 11, 2008

offering practices

One of the good gifts that Jason King, one of our pastoral team, gave to us last year was a re-shaping of our offering practices.

As we designed Grow, our new evening congregation, Jason suggested that when it comes to the offering, we give everyone a piece of paper and ask them to write down what they are offering God in the week ahead. (This works really well at Grow, because the service meets around tables. So it’s easy to have pieces of paper and pens on each table, along with muffins and a range of other ways to participate.) Practically, this helps everyone to contribute, and avoid the embarrassment of only a few giving in a smaller congregation. Theologically, it reminds us that the offering is indeed about all of our lives, and not just our finances.

Personally, this simple change has radically transformed my sense of worship. As a person, I use automatic payments, so the offering bag has less connection. As a pastor, I attend three (of our five) congregations and even if I put cash in, it raises questions about which service I would do that at.

So the simple invitation to write down what I am offering, has allowed me to re-engage with the offering and to consider a meaningful contribution. I’ve written things like helping a community family move, work a long week for the church, enjoy a great day off. A very simple thing that has helped me connect my faith with my faith.

(Jason was with us as a Community Development Pastor for a three year period. This ended this month, and, in God’s goodness to Jason, he was called to North Avon Baptist. Thanks Jason for the gift of the offering idea and God bless you as you start your ministry this week).

Posted by steve at 05:06 PM

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