Dear Friends in Faith,
Our annual Celebration of Giving is scheduled for Sunday, November 13 hosted by our 150th Anniversary Team. I hope you’’ll join us for this important event, its well worth your time. However, it does bring to mind countless bad cliches used to promote financial stewardship in the church. This is unavoidable I guess, considering that we’re called upon to participate every single year. Like clockwork, we keep ticking past this event hoping to capture, in a few short words, some easy formula for success. Here’s a few stewardship platitudes I’ve heard, accompanied also by my emoji reactions:
“When it comes to giving, some people stop at nothing.” 😏
“Don’t give till it hurts—give till it feels good.” 🙄
“Considering the amount some people give to the church, they must be convinced that it’s the little things that count.” 😶
“The Lord loveth a cheerful giver, but also accepteth a grouch.” 😠
“Those who give only when they are asked have waited too long…….” 😔💤
“The way some people give, you would think the church is coin operated.” 😩
Face it—no pun intended—these cliches just don’t work. They’re simply too corny, too boring, too, I don’t know,…snarky?
But I found one that I do like:
“You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” 🤔
Think about it. In the church, giving is really not about stewardship as much as it is about love. The act of giving takes love out of the abstract and puts into the real world. And what is more, “Real world,” than a financial decision? When stewardship originates not out of habit, fear, guilt, pressure, toleration—or any number of other bad motivations—but rather, by way of love, then we’ve gone beyond a monetary transaction. In effect, we’ve entered into a genuine act of faith that demonstrates a shared vision, a means of encouragement—given and received, a work in common, a mutual blessing and a joyful collaboration! In short, when you give generously to your church you discover the beauty of God’s love in ways that you may not have anticipated, but, in retrospect, would never have wanted to miss.