Giving & The Church
Posted on: March 13, 2008
Last night at house group was the last Rick Warren DVD talk in the 40 Days Of Community campaign and was about worship, however the talk turned out to be all about giving money to your local church…now, firstly I think giving money is part of worship and I also think it was a good thing for Warren to challenge (despite the fake laughs he gives).
Two things though stood out to me as being slightly odd, the first was when Rick said ‘if it’s a choice between paying a bill and tithing you should tithe’…now that makes me uneasy, perhaps because we’re in a society that encourages us to look after number 1 first, or perhaps a society where there isn’t enough faith in God to trust that the bills would get paid however it seems somewhat silly not to pay a bill and put risk potentially on your family, home etc.
However I think this would all be very well if close community was what we found in church. Rick’s argument was that when we give to God and trust him he blesses us and is there when we need him, now the way I’d see billing issues would be that if you paid your money to the church instead of your bill (if it was an either/or case scenario) is that you’d be close enough with your church family for them to know you were having money issues and in turn I’d suspect that they’d help you out, the same way you’d help a member of your genetic family out.
The problem is though that in our churches we just don’t have that kind of close community, rarely are we close enough with anyone let alone several people in our churches to discuss issues such as money problems, too often it’s left to the last minute when it’s too late for people to find out which is a pity. So in my opinion for Rick to be right our churches have to encourage very close community.
To change the subject very slightly in the last week I’ve been reading parts about Islam and marriage (for my next essay) and in Islam often the ‘church family’ for what of a better phrase will help a young couple with wedding costs, perhaps help them to set up a first home etc however in Christianity we almost discourage marriage by having costs for the services and perhaps not helping out couples who want to get married but cannot afford to. Surely by the church helping that way we’d see closer community in action…too often church is a meeting of associates rather than a meeting of family.
To finish off my mini thought process I think church needs to work on what it means to be a family rather than associates. This way perhaps we’d see increased giving, people receiving God’s blessing more and also people growing more in faith and God.