Friday, July 10, 2020 18:16

Elevate Giving as Worship–Idea #2

iStock_000007088099X Giving Bible & Wallet

To elevate giving as worship means that the offering gets a promotion.  Giving to God becomes a vital part of our worship.  And since in the context of this blog we are talking about corporate, public worship, this means that no worship service should be considered complete without an opportunity to give to God.

To most people–Protestants at least–I suppose that a worship service is composed of primarily two elements: singing and listening to a sermon.  In some circles, a celebration of communion is also an indispensable part of weekly worship.  While I cannot imagine a church worship service without some opportunity to give (“the offering”), as a matter of fact, in most services it is given less time and less emphasis than the announcements.  Indeed, the announcements are more sacrosanct than the offering.

I recognize this blog is being read by church leaders who are from two different camps.  Most churches do include a time for “the offering” during the normal order of worship.  Some may receive the offering before the message. Some place the offering at the end as a response to the Word of God.  However, there is another group of churches that do not receive an offering as part of the worship hour.  These churches typically have an offering box of some sort placed near the doors, and worshippers are encouraged to place their gift in the box on the way out.  Sometimes this is referred to as a “retiring” offering because it is given as one leaves, or retires from, the room.

A retiring offering may be appropriate as a way to give an extra gift for benevolence or a one-time special cause.  However, if that is the method used to receive the tithes and offerings of the church every Sunday, I fear it sends the message that giving is an afterthought. 

Psalm 96:8 says “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts” [emphasis mine].  A sacrifice, an offering, a gift to God has always been a part of worship.  The same pattern continues in the New Testament.  Paul instructed followers of Christ to set aside a sum of money “on the first day of the week” (1 Cor. 16:2).  If you elevate the offering in your worship services, you will teach people that giving to God is an indispensable part of worship.

   (c) Linden D. Kirby, Excel Ministries, Inc. 2012. All rights reserved.

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