Sunday, April 22, 2012
Christians and $
I don't check the financial records/statements of the saints who gather for worship, work, and witness in Belvidere, Illinois (FPC).
I don't even sneak a peek at the pledge cards that we don't use anymore.
It's my, uh, right and some pretend responsibility as a member of presbytery aka my ecclesiastical franchise/gig/bishop/license/etc.
I know that runs counter to what a lot of church management gurus pontificate.
I know financial stewardship is among the best measures of a person's fidelity to God.
Checkbooks and plastic balances don't lie.
You can tell a lot about a person's spiritual health by how she/he spends $.
It goes back to The Rev. Harold F. Mante (RIP).
He was my home pastor; and among the top ten of wisest mentors in my life.
He told me before 5/77 to keep my nosey nose out of the financial records/statements of church members.
Depending upon the person, he said the smell can be intoxicating or nauseating.
Moreover, he warned me about the unavoidable prejudices that develop when an undershepherd knows what a person gives in praise and thanks to God through His Church.
He always had good advice; which, uh, really worked when I paid attention to him/it.
For example, he said I should never learn how to use office equipment: "If you're not careful," he warned, "you'll end up running off the bulletins too."
He also told me not to accept keys to every lock in the church.
Think about it.
Uh, BTW, he always said, "Think about it."
A lost art in...
Yeah, he was an early inspiration for KD.
Moretheless, he told me to be absolutely faithful to Jesus but never a mindless drone to anyone else (e.g., denominations and other governments that often confuse auto-suggestion with divine revelation).
Maybe it's necessary to check the financial records/statements of church members if you know what I mean.
It's never necessary to check the financial records/statements of saints if you know what I mean.
Christians are good stewards by, uh, Spirit.
They don't waste any time on natural debates about tithing; knowing He expects 'em to manage everything entrusted to 'em in ways that will honor Him.
Managing everything entrusted to us by Him - time, talent, thought, treasure - for His glory alone.
Or as my pastor often said, "Christianity without stewardship is about as authentic as Christianity without faith, hope, love, or Jesus."
I never have problems raising $ in the Church.
I don't have to check up on saints who keep checkin' in with Jesus.
That's why I don't talk too much about $ in an institutional kinda way.
I just keep askin' Christians for $ to do, uh, Christian kinda stuff; and they always, uh, deliver.
I spend most of my time talking about Jesus and what it means to follow Him in a Biblical kinda way.
Obviously, that includes financial stewardship.
Yet I don't have to keep pressin' it; because saints make the, uh, connection.
Blessings and Love!