Next month, Cross Way will have extra focus on our growth in giving in 2015. Our growing church requires funding to fulfill its calling and add vitally needed ministry staff. Many of you have heard my personal story and perspective on tithing (giving 10% back to God from the 100% God has given us)... if not, you’ll hear next month why my family tithes. As a once skeptic of “churches asking for money” type guy, I once felt awkward asking the people of churches I served to share in the giving work of ministry. I have a very different perspective nowadays. Great ideas require great generosity. Without your generosity, we cannot conduct the missions and ministries God has called us to. You and I ARE God’s plan to fulfill God’s calling, and our generosity is the only limiting factor in what we are able to do. Life and growth are expensive.
Billy Echols Richter shared the following article with me a while back written by a lay person. It is appropriately titled “Why I Will Always Belong to a Church That Needs Money.” I invite you read and reflect. You’ll never think the same of what we do.
See you Sunday!
In Christ with you,
Why I Will Always Belong to a Church That Needs Money
by Don Linscott
On July 23, 1970, my wife, Connie, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. For three years, we had tried unsuccessfully to start a family so our joy was great with the arrival of what was to be our only biological child. We later adopted a daughter. Lance was born before it became acceptable for the father to be present in the delivery room. (A fact for which I have ever been grateful!) I waited in the hallway just outside the delivery room. At precisely 4:13 p.m., I heard a sound I will never forget — Lance’s first cry. The nurse emerged with a smile and said, “You have a baby boy.” I casually responded, “Yes, I know.” I had never doubted we would have a son. I could hardly wait to get Connie and Lance out of the hospital and back home so I could get my hands on them.
The wonderful glow of fatherhood was soon dimmed, however, when I was asked to visit the business office of the hospital. They wanted me to pay for Lance! In fact, it seemed to me that my wife and child might be held hostage until the hospital bill was settled. I wrote the check paying all the expenses in full, freed my family, and we made our escape. That check turned out to be only the first of hundreds, maybe thousands, I would write on Lance’s behalf.
Children are expensive. There was formula and food to buy. Doctor visits and vaccinations assaulted my banking account. Diapers and toys took their toll. And clothes were a constant drain. Just about the time we built a great wardrobe for the kid, he would grow, forcing us to start all over again. As his age and size increased, so did the expenses. Soon, it was baseball gloves, Nike shoes, and uniforms. There were glasses for his eyes and braces for his teeth. And then, disaster struck. Lance became a teenager! Now it was cars and dates and name-brand clothes. Then came college. Lance had always, and only, wanted to be an architect. It seemed to me he would be in school until he was 42 years old. Expenses soared! Tuition, books, and drawing tools led the long list of essential expenditures. But, of course, just like parents everywhere, we were happy to be able to help him and we did all we could to support his growth and his dreams.
And then, one day, Lance died.
On Halloween Day 1991, we buried 21-year-old Lance in our church’s country cemetery. That afternoon, we walked away from his grave and since that day, we have never spent another nickel on Lance. That’s how I learned it. Death is cheap. Death can be sustained without expense. It is living that is costly. It is growth that is expensive. Our dreams, visions, and hopes require sacrifice. Death doesn’t! That’s why I will always belong to a church that needs money. A living, growing, thriving church will always require the continual, consistent, and conscientious financial support of its members.