What do you see in the pew/chair in front of you at church, tithing envelopes, a buletin, maybe a hymnal, or a pencil? Do you ever find chewed up gum stuck to a giving envelope all folded up? It's usually from some teenager deciding to stash his used gum away for the next visitor interested in something to chew on if the service had no meat to the message. This ABC gum is much like how the older generation passes along their commitments and debt to the next.
While sitting in my church the other day, i looked in the pocket of the seat in front of me, and noticed what resources they had provided in making my experience more welcoming. Right there was not just a giving envelope but also a commitent card with options listed on what to give to pay for our building debt. It was a valuable resource to any lazy mind who could not figure out what form of assets can be used to withdrawal value. There were many ideas listed, such as, donating money from retirement accounts, old cars, and so on. The only other thing in the pocket was a pen - no bible, no hymnal, no buletin. I guess there is no bible because the pastor expects us to not forget our bible at home, but on the other hand the commitment card is there just in case we forgot our money at home.
I know this similar phrase is used many times in correlation with tithing, but giving is an obligation as well as an opportunity. (In order to fit an Old Testament law under the age of grace, tithers say it differently, in that tithing is opportunity not an obligation) In our days there is so much burden of church mortgages and debts that we are no longer can practice our opportunity to give. It's like a bottom-less pit we must constantly dig ourselves out of in order to stay on top of our bills and to keep our testimony with the collectors. I pity those grandparents who feel they have to extinguish their dying assets to the church, instead of leaving an inheritance for their children. Read Proverbs 13:22, "A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children".
Instead of leaving this wealth to our grandchildren, we are leaving them with church debt and describing it to them as an opportunity for their generation. These older adults have filled out their commitment cards without realizing that they've placed the card right back into the newly renovated pew with their wad of debt attached. Throughout the years many give thousands upon thousands to fulfill a dream of an organization and forget that their family is standing there with empty pockets. This older generation is much like the teenager who pulls out a commitment card and leaves the gum attached for the next person or generation who fills that chair. Stop leaving the next generation with your dreams with your debt attached.
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