Some people will say there’s never a good time to talk about giving and money.
Some people will say it’s always a good time to talk about giving and money.
Jesus talks a lot about money.
Here are some thoughts on giving, especially during this time of lockdown and virtual gatherings.
by Kaji Douša, a Christian who loves her church
Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.
– Deuteronomy 15:10 (NRSV)
Your Minister probably doesn’t think they’re so good at raising money.
Your Minister probably is expected to raise a whole lot of money, or at least get people in the mood for generous giving.
Your Minister is likely to be terrified of raising money.
‘Inspiring generosity’ and ‘unleashing giving potential’ sound lovely. And they are. Our spirits leap when we are generous and Ministers love a leaping spirit, I think. Well, I do, anyway.
Leaping-spirit-gifts are a joy.
The tough ones are the gifts that land with a thud.
Picture the gift with a rope tied around it. BAM! The gift is given but can always be tugged away. If Minister preaches on that forbidden topic. If the musician doesn’t play The Ol’ Rugged Cross every month. Or if the pastor doesn’t preach on that required topic or if the musician plays The Ol’ Rugged Cross one more time…
The checklist of requirements for giving draws a cord around hearts that make it hard for a spirit to leap as we tether our giving to our expectations.
But gifts to the church are not for the Minister or the musician. They are for God.
My recommendation? Align with a church community and then make your peace with it. Gifts aren’t given to decisions; they are given to the place you have decided God is at work.
This brings cheer. If your gift makes you grumpy – are you in the right place?
May my spirit leap as I think about your generosity, O God. May my gifts do the same. Amen.
About the author
Kaji Douša contributed this devotional to ‘On Giving: Reflections and Resources for Pre-Generous Parishioners’, an honest-to-God resource for those deciding how to financially support their churches.