I was recently presented this question: Is your church the best place for someone to give their money? The answer is yes. Here’s why.
Most of you are probably familiar with the Agnostic Pub group that I co-lead. We read a book at a pub and then switch pubs when we switch books. It’s a group where those who aren’t so sure about this whole Christianity thing can go and find some community. I am usually the only Christian in the group. The rest are made up of agnostics, atheists, and everything in between. Most attend our church. Some are friends of those who attend our church. A couple of weeks ago this is what happened…
Several of us had gathered and were beginning to catch up when someone new to our church showed up. She has come pretty consistently to our Church in a Diner and was intrigued by the group because she had a lot of questions about religion and faith. An Agnostic Pub group sounded like just thing she needed.
When she sat down at the table I realized that we needed to do some introductions so I asked each person to share their name and to explain why they were at the Agnostic Pub group on a Thursday night rather than somewhere else. Their answers floored me.
One by one each of these “agnostics” talked about how amazing our church was. They weren’t sure yet about Jesus, but they couldn’t stop gushing about how great SCC was. It was warm and welcoming. It was a safe place to ask questions. The sermons were always helpful (I didn’t make that up). Hard questions were open for discussion. They went on and on. At one point, one person realized how much they were gushing about SCC and sheepishly said, “Tom didn’t pay us to say this.” Here were a bunch of agnostics who had become evangelists for SCC to another agnostic! They weren’t yet evangelists for Jesus, but they were more than half-way there.
That’s why SCC is the best place to give your money. And that’s only one of a dozen stories I could tell you about the last couple of months. We’re a curious, creative, and compassionate community that is building bridges with people who have never entered the church or who have been hurt by the church. We welcome their questions about God. We’re creative in all we do to reach out to them. And we show everyone, agnostics included, God’s compassion.
You already know this. That’s why you give to SCC. I wanted to share this story with you to show you one way your giving is transforming lives. Your tithes, offerings, capital campaign pledges (over $283,000 given to date!), and designated special giving (over $2700 given this quarter!) help us ignite authentic life in Christ by connecting people to God and one another, growing disciples into the character of Christ, and helping each person to serve our church, community, and world. Thank you for your generous giving! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
P.S. The absolute easiest way I know to regularly give is to automate the process either through EFT or setting up a regular check to be mailed through your online banking. Then you transform lives even when you can’t always make it to worship. Included is an EFT form for your convenience. EFT can be changed at any point by simply calling the church office.
Designated Special Giving (DSG)
Listed below are opportunities to touch people’s lives. One just might catch hold of your heart, spirit, or imagination, and God won’t let it get out of your mind. Prayerfully look over the list below and consider whether God is calling you to give to one of these DSG opportunities? DSG is an above-and-beyond giving opportunity, above and beyond other commitments you’ve made to the church such as your annual Commitment Sunday pledge, your Capital Campaign pledge, or your commitment to Dr. Mir in Nicaragua. If you can’t give the total amount listed, don’t feel like you can’t contribute. Perhaps God will speak to five other people too, and their total giving meets the need or opportunity. Take some time to consider DSG alongside your current giving, and watch what God will do in the coming weeks and months!
- · DONE! Main Projection Screen ($1,400) – Help communicate the gospel effectively and excellently. Our current screen is showing significant age.
- · DONE! Nursery Gates ($100) – Keeps kids safe and helps parents worship with peace of mind. Makes our current nursery setup easier.
- · DONE! Floor Mats for the Nursery ($40) – Makes a clean soft place for kids to play.
- · DONE! Percussion Shaker ($30) – Adds more variety to the sound of our music and creates an environment where people can go deeper in God’s grace through worship music.
- Youth Ministry Intern ($5000 – $1500 given!) – We’d like to hire a college student as a year-round youth intern to help our youth go deeper in God’s grace.
- Leadership Training ($300+ – $400 given! This need never runs out.) – Conferences, workshops and coaching help our paid/unpaid staff continue to improve their craft and reach new people for Christ.
- Appreciation Gift Cards ($5+ – $200 given! This need never runs out.) – A small gift card to a coffee shop, etc. can go a long way in showing appreciation to and retaining volunteers.
- Outreach Events ($500+) – Help reach new people for Christ through several outreach events planned for the coming year that will include renting tents, bounce houses, and possibly even a river boat!
- StuREV Event Scholarships ($200+) – Provide scholarships for students and chaperones to events like Acquire the Fire, winter retreat and more that will deepen the faith of our youth.
- Parsonage Landscape Projects ($500+) – Improve the landscape of our parsonage (SCC owned pastor’s house). Shrubs, lawn care, mulching, and more will help make a good first impression.
- Signage ($100 to $2000) – We’re working on a new office sign, street signs, signs going into Lansing Christian School, and signs inside LCS that show our new logo and improve visibility. Signs create and communicate our identity to the community and are an extension of our hospitality.
- Guitar ($1000) – The church-owned guitar shows significant wear and tear. A new guitar adds excellence to the music of our church creating a worship environment for people to encounter God.
- Nicaragua Meds ($100+) – We send medical teams to Nicaragua twice a year to share God’s compassion. A huge expense that pays significant dividends in health is medicine. Many maladies can be simply treated with the appropriate meds. Share God’s compassion with medicine for Nicaragua.
- Member Care Training ($9500) – We are exploring bringing in John Savage several times over the next year. Savage is a consultant we have worked with before who specializes in member care through training in listening skills. This would help us expand our capacity for showing compassion within our community and help retain people when they experience bumps in life and the church.
If you would like to give to one or more of these Designated Special Giving opportunities, simply drop a check in the offering bag and write “DSG” and the name of the DSG (i.e. “DSG: New Screen”).Share on Facebook