Several years ago, a dear friend of mine shared in a conversation, “Your tithing helps me keep my job.”
It had seemed my entire world was changed in that moment. I had never fully understood the concept of being a generous disciple.
I was raised in a family that put an envelope in the passed plate weekly. I had my own youth envelopes and I loved giving to the local campgrounds and to the building fund of my local congregation. My envelopes were “left side heavy”. As I got older I started to add a few cents towards the world church. Mostly it was because I felt guilty I was neglecting that side of the envelope. I never went to World Conference, I didn’t have any experience with the church outside of Michigan. But then, my close friend accepted a position working for the church and it opened my eyes.
I started to embrace the ministries offered (Temple school classes, young adult ministries, Congregational Life Workshop, FOCCUS training, one-on-one time with the area Apostle and Seventies) and marveled at the new recognition of generosity of the church. I watched ministers work endless hours, lose sleep, develop new ministries, teach, preach, travel endlessly for the love of a church, the worldwide church family, and the passion of creating missional communities. And it dawned on me, they could have any good paying job they wanted…but they do this because they love it.
Now, I have the great honor to work alongside those I have looked up to for years…and it has only increased my desire to support world church by yearning to be a generous disciple. My training, my mentors, my ability to develop and implement new ideas for young adult ministries all comes from the envelope I place in the plate on Sundays. And when my husband asked, why do I “have” to support my employer when we live paycheck to paycheck? I responded by sharing all of the ministries offered to me and my desire to continue to receive those ministries.
I support world church because they support my family. And you are a part of my family.
So, I will continue to offer my gratitude in monetary form to local and worldwide ministries. I do so not because I have to. I do so because I want to.
For ways you can share your gratitude and contribute to the ministries of the church visit www.cofchrist.org/give
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