If there is one subject that seems to be touchy, no matter what church or denomination you attend it is the subject of collection. Most people will tolerate the preacher discussing an issue that they are uncomfortable with (I know this is not always the case). However, there seems to be a universal distaste of lessons and teaching concerning giving unto God. Several years ago I was having a bible study and oddly enough the person I was studying with brought this subject up. After visiting, he had the worship leader give a two minute talk on why we take up a collection. He told me that he has issues with churches that spend time talking about the collections as he feels that churches should never compel a person to give. I asked how can I person know to give freely if there is no instruction? It was honestly an issue that he just couldn’t get past. For whatever reason, I firmly believe that checking accounts (or wallets and purses) need to be added to the list of taboo subjects just like politics and religion. And still, God deals with this issue on a number of times. Therefore, we need to approach this subject. So why give to the church?
Reason #1: For the reason I just talked about. The fact that this is such a touchy subject is a good reason we ought to be giving. Too many people have issues partying with “their money.” It is for this reason that one should part with it. The Rich Young Ruler was told to part with his riches because he loved them so much. His issue was not being wealthy (it is not sinful to be wealthy). It is however sinful hold on to that money as if it were your household idol. (Believe me, that is exactly what many of us American do). Money supplies us with a home. Money supplies us with cars. Money supplies us with food. Money supplies not only our needs, but also our wants. We look to the advice of the world on how to get more of that money and we follow it, by going to college, getting fancy degrees, and taking the job that provides the most money no matter the consequences. (Like having to make compromises concerning your faith or worse, abandoning it all together). Rather than trusting that God will provide we trust the All American god of money. I truly believe that there are many “Christians” who Jesus would say, “Go and sell all you have, give to the poor and come follow me (Mark 10:21).” And I firmly believe the reply would be no different, they would walk away because they had many possessions.
Reason #2: The church would struggle to accomplish the works God gave it to do without your help. Yes, God did and will continue to uphold his church without American dollars. God doesn’t need your money to survive. He doesn’t need your money to build himself a bigger house. However, the local church benefits from the local collection. The church has three primary jobs. It is to help the needy saints, edify the saints, and evangelism. If there are no collections taken up (or insufficient collections taken up it makes it harder to do these jobs. While most needs in the church can be met without funds, we are only fooling ourselves if we think the church wasn’t doing that. People were selling their possessions in the 1st century to assure that the church had the ability to provide for the saints. (See Acts 4-5.) Part of our church’s edification plan is our teaching curriculum. Occasionally, we purchase bible class material for classes upstairs, but every quarter we purchase class books and class materials for the classes downstairs. If we aren’t giving what message are we sending to our children? I mean every year we hear the complaints in the school systems in that teachers are not properly supported by the schools because the money isn’t there. Many of us pass laws to raise money for the schools, pay extra school supplies, and find other ways to support the teacher (gift cards, etc). Do we want to tell our children that we want to see their secular education system succeed, but we really don’t care enough to give to the church so that their spiritual education can also prosper? While a church does not have to have a local preacher, if they want one, they need to find a way to pay him. This cannot be done without you giving.
Now, I don’t want you thinking that I am saying that you have to give xyz amount. That would be compelling you to give. What I am saying is why wouldn’t you want to put this church in the best position to succeed?
Grinnell church of Christ
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Why Give to the Church?
Volume 8 Issue 31