Someone asked the question, Which President of the United States has the best church attendance record? The answer, George Washington, because his face is imprinted on the one-dollar bill. Are we guilty of reaching for the smallest amount when the offering basket is coming in our direction? Or, are we developing a reputation of generosity. We want our Covenant Brethren Church (CBC) family known as a group of people who believe in generosity.
One Sunday morning when I was a teenager, I was sitting beside a rather successful business man, and when the offering basket was coming in our direction, he leaned over and asked if I had change for a twenty. That formed a lasting impression on my mind that I never forgot. That man died about a year ago, and when I saw his obituary in the newspaper, I immediately recalled that brief conversation. To be sure, my impression of that man was not that he had developed a practice of generosity.
Both Old and New Testaments urge generosity. From the practice of tithing in the Old Testament to John 3:16 in the New, generosity is seen. Tithing is still a good “starting point” in our practice of giving, but it shouldn’t stop there. Tithes and offerings should be in our mind as we reach for our wallets. Someone has said that the most sensitive nerve in our body is the one that goes toward our pocket books!
CBC members are being generous they support the general fund of our denomination. We are practicing generosity when we partner with Samaritan’s Purse people in their various ministries. We are becoming sensitive towards the needs of our African brothers and sisters as we provide schooling for their children and food for their families. Supporting disaster responses is another way of exhibiting generosity. And the list goes on. We hope to do more church planting in the future and that will require more measures of generosity.
In 2 Corinthians 9:7, the Bible says, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, nor of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver.” (KJV) In other words, don’t give if it makes you mad (grudgingly) or of necessity, if it makes you sad, but cheerfully, if it makes you glad. Generosity should be seen, both as a duty, but even more so, as a privilege.
Let’s encourage Benjamin Franklin to come along more often to church. You see, his face is on the one-hundred-dollar bill.
Jim Myer, CBC Executive Board Member