Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A modern day parable on giving

It's been some time since I've seen this parable on giving, but my friend Terry Dorsett published it yesterday on his Facebook page.  I thought it was so good I needed to share it.

The treasurer of a congregation resigned. The church asked another to take his position, a man who managed a local grain elevator. He agreed, under two conditions:
1. That no report from the treasurer be given for one whole year.
2. That no one ask him any questions during this one year period.
The church gulped, but finally agreed, since he was a trusted man in the community, and well known because most of them did business with him as manager of the local grain elevator. At the end of the year he gave this report:
The indebtedness of $250,000 on the church was paid.
The minister’s salary had been increased.
The mission quota was paid 200%.
There were no outstanding bills.
There was a cash balance of $12,000.
Immediately a shocked congregation asked, “How can this be?”
Quietly, he answered, “Most of you bring your grain to my elevator. As you did business with me, I simply withheld ten percent on your behalf and gave it to the church in your name. You never missed it. Do you see what we could do for the Lord if we were willing to give the first tithe to God, who really owns it all anyway?”

Wow!  The average Christian gives less than three percent of his or her income to the church.  That's why I never believe a church when they tell me they don't have the money to do this or that.  Few churches truly have money problems.  Their problems are most often related to a lack of vision that challenges people to give and a failure to teach sound stewardship to the congregation.  The results in the above parable could be duplicated in nearly every church if the people were tithing.

Incidentally, Terry has an excellent book called Developing Leadership Teams in the Bivocational Church that I highly recommend for bivocational ministers and the churches they serve.  I think it is a very good resource to help these churches better organize themselves for ministry.

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