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Jingle, jingle goes the money in the plate – or not

Jingle, jingle goes the money in the plate – or not

Writing at Ministry Matters, and just in time as many congregations begin planning stewardship campaigns, Rebekah Simon-Peter offers some insight and reflection on how many churches approach money in an article titled “Why Churches Are Poor.”

She opens with a reflection from a recent retreat;

At a recent clergy retreat I attended, we prayed a prayer that went something like this: “O Lord, keep us far from the riches of the world.” Each of us was sincere in our prayers.

Later it occurred to me that God is indeed answering that prayer! Many churches find that money is their limiting factor. I’m going out on a limb here. But I don’t think it’s because these churches are full of poor people. It’s because they act poor.

She then begins to offer another potential;

I don’t believe this is a theologically necessary state of affairs…

Drawing on her experience in congregational development and transformations, she offers five attitudes or behaviors that may be holding us back, such as #3: “We don’t ask for enough. Have you ever noticed that some people are only deeply motivated to give when challenged? If the “ask” isn’t big enough, they won’t bother giving. Are you asking for enough to get the attention of these givers? If not, you are blocking their spiritual growth, and the church’s ministry.”

Instead of seeing money as an unruly guest, or worse, a pariah perhaps we could see it as a potential tool for God’s work in the world.

What if we were to pray that God direct the riches of the world to us and through us to bring about healing, reconciliation, justice and wholeness in our communities and world? I wonder what might happen then?

We need a new consciousness around money — one that allows us to be honest about our needs and the unlimited God we serve. Money is not in short supply. But if we believe it is, we will act, and ask, accordingly.

 

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Mark Mason

“What if we were to pray that God direct the riches of the world to us and through us to bring about healing, reconciliation, justice and wholeness in our communities and world? I wonder what might happen then?”

Last week people wanted to not pledge because their Bishop didn’t support SS marriage. What if all the people in the pews withheld their pledges because their Bishop did or didn’t? Voting by keeping the dollar in the pocket so to speak

Paul Woodrum

Too often we approach fundraising as a minimal pledge toward a budget prepared by the vestry. Turning it around and asking the congregation, preferably in small groups, what they want their church to do makes them stakeholders who tend to pledge more generously and support more graciously.

David Allen

The stats across all denominations show that folks who pledge and participate in the ministries of the parish, raise their pledges an average of 8% with each additional year of participation.

Bro David

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