As a father, I love watching Hannah grow and learn in the church. Lately, whenever it is time for the offering she rushes to the front of the church. The first time she did it, I thought she saw the other kids coming to take up the offering and she wanted to do what they were doing. Instead, she was excited about putting her offering into the plate! Every week, we give her fifty cents (depending on the availability of change!) to teach her stewardship. Honestly, she has no concept of money yet, she doesn’t realize that she could use it to buy something else. Still, she cannot even wait until the plates were passed to her, she had to run up to them! As both a pastor and a father, it makes my heart sing.
I wish we all approached the offering like that, with joy, with excitement. So often, we don’t even think about it. It becomes routine. Many people give out of guilt or obligation. Those are terrible reasons to give. We should give to support the ministry of the church, true. But we should also give out of joy and thanksgiving for all that we have been blessed with! There are churches in Ghana where the offering plates are not passed. Instead they are left up at the front of the church and people dance to the front of the church to give their offering! Can you imagine being so filled with joy that you danced your offering forward?
As we approach Consecration Sunday and you consider your pledge for the coming year, approach your pledge not with obligation, not with guilt, not with the boredom that comes with routine, but with prayer, excitement, joy, and thanksgiving.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 “6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”