Why I Give To My Church

Every Sunday I stand in front of roughly 450 people plus a bunch of people watching church online and I ask for money.

I don't come right out and say, "Give us your money," but I imagine if you were looking for that sort of thing, you would probably find it.  You would have to look hard because I spend less than two minutes of a 60-70 minute service talking about money.

I shouldn't be hesitant about this, honestly.  It's a shame that I feel like I can only briefly mention the fact that without the generosity of our church members and friends our church wouldn't be able to share the Gospel with our community in amazing ways each and every week.

Jesus spent more time talking about money than he did talking about heaven or hell.  So there's that.

Even so... I am not going to beg, bribe or berate people into giving money to my church.  But I do feel like this needs to be said:  Why would anyone be upset about being asked to give in order to support something they believe in?  They wouldn't.  They aren't.  When people strongly believe in something--they throw their resources at it.

So, along those lines--let me share something from my heart about why I believe in our church, and why my wife Merideth and I give money to our church each and every month.

Our church sign has the tagline "church done differently."  We put that tagline on our bulletins, too.  It's on our website.  It's on our church letterhead.  The fact is, it's true.  We do church differently.

Our church isn't close-minded.  We believe that you don't have to turn off your brain in order to be a Christian.  We believe that Faith isn't incompatible with Science.  We don't shout down those who disagree with us.

Our church is open-handed and generous.  We believe that we don't exist for the sake of existing.  We exist for the sake of the world--to know Jesus and show Jesus.

Our church doors are open to anyone.  It doesn't matter who you are, what you've done, what's been done to you... We value diversity.  You are welcome just as you are--there are no perfect people here.

Our church values the gifts of women in leadership.  God calls whom God calls. We have beautiful, powerful, capable and awesome men and women in our church--and we need all of them to bring their gifts.

Our church believes in grace.  We are not asking anyone to adopt a set of beliefs, rules, regulations... All we ask is that our friends and members join us in stumbling after Jesus.

Here's the thing.  I don't want people to give so our church can get bigger.  I don't want people to give so that we can do more things. This is not about what I want from anyone.  It's what I want for them.

I want our members and friends to give so that the unbelievable Good News that God is for us, and Jesus is with us can reach more people.

I want our members and friends to give so that people who have been wounded by churches who told them they weren't good enough to follow Jesus will have a place to call home.

I want our members and friends to give so that we can show the world we are Christians by who we are--rather than by who we aren't.

I want our members and friends to give because this kind of church is the kind of church that I longed for my entire life, and I just know that there are people out there longing for it, too.  We need to tell them.

I want our members and friends to give because when they do, when they participate in the unbelievable kingdom work that is going on in our church--they will be blown away.

In this season, as we all think about what God might be leading us to commit to giving to our church in the coming year, I am not going to beg, bribe or berate, but I am going to shout---sing---proclaim---exhort---extol---and bear witness.

Because at our church, we do things differently.

And that's worth giving to...  


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