Every church is changing. Even though the gospel is unchanging, every church is an expression of the gospel through their language, culture and time. But as the culture, language and time outside of the church continues to change, and each church’s cultural expression will fall behind if it does not change. No church that prevails in this culture can measure itself by other normal, or even “successful,” churches. Even growing churches tend to grow because they are “better” when compared with other churches, which means that often these churches grow because people transfer from other churches. There is some growth by conversion, but very little even in most growing churches. Continue reading Our Changing Church
Offering Is Worship
The offering is a specific part of worship that is not like any other act of corporate worship. This is the main reason we haven’t taken it out of the worship service in order to communicate “we are not about money” to skeptics who would presume that. I believe it would diminish our worship not to make financial giving part of it. Giving is one of the most worshipful things we do, because when we give money, the opportunity cost is not just a few minutes of singing, it is the very life, labor and future that our liquid capital represents. It is a “show me don’t tell me” moment of worship, where we let go of the security or pleasure our money can purchase in order to demonstrate our worship of God and our love of his mission. And so I believe giving belongs in the worship service as much as any other component.
And yet there are many skeptics and nominally religious people who believe that the church, and especially larger churches like ours in nice buildings, are all about money. Therefore the way we approach the offering is of particular importance.