Redefining members (not pastors and staff) as the “church” and the community (not members) as the “customer” would reverse the lens through which churches evaluate nearly every decision they make today.
Recently our church staff held our annual in-house evaluation retreat when we reviewed the prior year’s goals and plans. God had given us a good year and we wanted not only to discuss how we could improve, but rejoice in His blessings.
The truth is those of us in ministry often don’t do the friendship thing very well. One survey among pastors found that 70 percent do not have a close friend, confidant, or mentor. Henri Nouwen wrote, “Most Christian leadership is exercised by people who do not know how to develop healthy, intimate relationships.” What an indictment.
My article last week focused on a particularly negative reaction I received to a blog post about online giving. That response – and them is understanding it belied – galvanized me to talk about generosity,stewardship, and all things giving even more than I had before.
“This is just a hugely distasteful example of the American money obsession gospel which us non-Americans find nauseating.”
I stared at my inbox and read the response twice. Then three times. Somewhere, in some other country, some nameless person with an @hotmail.com email address was very upset with me.
The Church itself plays an important role in fostering generosity. Yes, at the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the giver to give. But it is also the responsibility of the church to create opportunities for generosity.
Working in business development for a church giving platform, I am asked often if there is a Biblical precedent for churches using digital technology to accept tithes and offerings. Any scriptural evidence that text-2-give is acceptable to the Lord? I’ll save you a concordance search: there isn’t.