October 2012

Viewing Our Offering Box As An Offering Of Worship

A pastor announced on Sunday that he had made a new offering box for the weekly collection.  He claimed that it was designed to encourage people to become better stewards of their money.  “This new box,” he explained, “has some interesting features.  When you drop in a check or paper money in large amounts, the box makes no sound at all.  Put a quarter in, and it tinkles like a bell.  A dimeblows a whistle, and a penny fires a shot.  When you put in nothing, the box takes your picture”.  

I’m sure you have all noticed that our offering box is nothing like the one described above.  Aren’t you glad? The box in which we place our offerings for the Lord is instead a simple place for you to quietly express your love to Him.  

Recently, an esteemed brother in our Church, with much love for our Church family, and somewhat grieved over the lingering Church deficit we have endured this year, encouraged our leadership to consider passing an offering plate.  Presently, this is what our leadership is doing.  We are asking the Lord to direct us.  We will change from the offering box to the offering plate, if we sense the Lord’s leading. 

For now though let me just remind you that the offering box in the back of our sanctuary has been our only means of collection  throughout the nearly 25 years of our Church’s history.  During these years, our God has shown Himself to be entirely trustworthy.  He has been so good and faithful to us.  Let us not be anxious.  Let us pray, trust, and give worshipfully and sacrificially from our “first fruits”. 

Several years ago, I had a conversation with a brother who was concerned that people in our Church may forget that our offerings to the Lord are an act of worship.  His concern was that if we don’t pass a plate during the worship service people may simply drop their givings in our offering box without consciously considering the spiritual nature of the gift. 

Scripture indicates that our financial giving is a worshipful response to the goodness of God.  The Bible teaches that giving to the Lord is to be a key feature of our worship.  See for example, Phil 4:18.

 The fact that we use an offering box does not necessarily mean that the act of giving will not be worshipful.  Certainly the widow who placed her offering in the treasury chest located in the court of the temple was worshipping when she gave.  The Lord observes her giving, calls over His twelve disciples, grabs their attention by highlighting the significance of her offering, and emphatically commends her for giving out of her poverty (Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4).  Worshipful giving is a matter of the heart not the particular mode of collection.

 On the one hand, there are drawbacks to the offering box.  With the plate, people give during the actual worship service so it may be easier for them to connect giving with the act of worship.  Furthermore, when the plate is passed, this occasion provides a natural opportunity for the pastor or worship leader to remind the congregation that their giving is to be an expression of gratitude and faith toward God.

 On the other hand, there are advantages to the offering box.  It allows people to give more privately.  When the plate is passed, people may feel obliged to contribute because everyone else seems to be doing so. Our giving must not be motivated by people, but by God.  Our offering box may put less pressure on a person to give, and this can enhance worship.

 It seems however that with the use of the offering box, there is a great responsibility for leadership to communicate with the church.  We need faithfully to remind our congregation, particularly the new believers, that when they place their offerings in our church “treasury” they are to do so as a conscious act of worship.

 Ideally, we should prayerfully consider how much to give before we even leave for church on Sunday morning.  The amount of our offering should be determined through prayer in advance of the worship service.  And the placement of the offering should be an extension of that prayerful consideration whether our giving is placed in a box or plate.  We all need to be reminded, if not frequently, at least from time to time, that our giving is an offering to the Lord. 

 Our leadership has renewed its commitment to encourage you more frequently either at the outset of the service, in connection with the worship prayer, or toward the end of the service. The format will probably vary, but the intent will remain the same – to encourage you to give to the Lord as a genuine expression of love, faith and adoration.

 Finally, let me add how thankful I am for the faithful giving of many in our Church.  Any prompting you may receive in the future from the pulpit in this regard will simply be to encourage you to excel still more.  For those in our congregation whose faith needs to be increased in this important area, our intent will only be to prompt you to give cheerfully and sacrificially to support the ministry of Community Church because of your love for her Bridegroom!

 May our love offerings continually please our good and faithful God. 

Home | Newsletter menu

Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427