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.
High Point Church’s Year End gift continues to impact the lives of many across the globe, and the mission work of Martires Olivero in the Dominican Republic is some of the latest to fall in that category.
Part of HPC’s gift was sent to Martires for the purchase of an SUV for better travel within his ministry to get from community to community (especially for when it rained and the roads were flooded) and for traveling with hosts churches when they came to help from the US.
When Typhoon Haiyan tore through Southeast Asia in November 2013, it was one of the strongest, most devastating tropical cyclones ever recorded. With its death toll reaching more than 6,300 people, Haiyan also left many lives and homes in shambles.
HPC MISSIONARY SUPPORT: This money allows us to give our missionaries a Christmas gift and encourage them and their families during the holidays. In addition to that, many missionaries are below the amount they need to stay on the field. As other churches shrink in size and as missionaries who stay on the field for long terms are forgotten, new sources of funding have to be built-in to keep those missionaries on the field in a way in which they are adequately resourced and not constantly coming back to the United States for funding. This funding helps make that possible.
The research on church planting is often not very encouraging to those of us serving in established churches. For a good primer on the absolute importance of church planting, I would recommend Why Plant Churches by Tim Keller, published in 2002.
The fact we all must reckon with is that church planting is a crucial strategy. “Nothing else – not Crusades, outreach programs, para-church ministries, growing mega-churches, congregational consulting, nor church renewal processes – will have the consistent impact of dynamic, extensive church planting.” (Keller, 2002.) Many of us would like to believe that we should spend our effort revitalizing established churches rather than planting new ones. After all, they have plenty of seats, already have buildings, and it would put more Christians together with each other in unity.