Giving to Support Ministry

Before I post a link to the message I gave today, I have a few things I want to say:

  • For those of you who worship among unprogrammed Friends, I apologize that I didn’t take the time in this message to address what really is an important subject: why Evangelical Friends have become ok with releasing pastors financially to do the work God has called them to do. I may write about that another time on the blog. Without having had those conversations, it feels weird to post this message that simply assumes it’s normal and ok to support pastors financially. I seriously debated NOT posting it all, but then that felt like I was just ashamed of it or not willing to have it be up for you to read. So I’m posting it, and inviting your comments/critiques/questions.
  • No disrespect to Rick Warren intended. 😉
  • Since you are my loyal blog readers, I’ll give you a $10 discount on the book I promote in the message. ; ^)

With that out of the way, here’s the message.

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5 thoughts on “Giving to Support Ministry

  1. Have you read Growing Giver’s Hearts: Treating Fundraising as Ministry by Thomas Jeavons and Rebekah Birch Basinger? I recommend it HIGHLY for anyone who works in religious fund raising, as I do, even if it’s not for my Meeting. One of my favorite parts of the beginning talks about Paul as the Church’s first fundraising executive. It’s funny AND exegetically correct.The best part of it, though, is that it treats asking for money as an important part of the work of the Church, just as important as giving money, and equally necessary to achieve God’s kingdom here on Earth. It is this work that frees people to concentrate on teaching or preaching ministry, releasing pastors financially, as you said. I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on the larger topic. I think it’s a very interesting issue, even from my dogmatic unprogrammed position.

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  2. Robin, I haven’t read that book, but will look it up. Thank you for your comments! I’m always pleasantly surprised by the grace in them, across our different Quaker lines. Teaching on giving has been a hard thing for me to dare to approach, but these two weeks have been good for me to wrestle with it. There’s such a stereotype of churches always asking for money that is difficult to get past. But it is in the bible, and the reality is, if we believe in what we are doing, it ought to be ok to ask people to support it.It’s just a challenge.

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  3. Greg, I read this post and your Star Trek post and I appreciate what you offer. I think they are related. At one time in my Quaker “career” I frowned upon those who had pastors, preachers, services, etc. Then I heard Johann Mauer at Friends General Conference more than 10 years ago. What I remember of what he said, he asked us unprogrammed Friends if it was possible for us to understand that some people needed programmed (as in tactile) Meetings, that there were those who could be reached by these means that an unprogrammed approach might not reach. Later, I came to re-appreciate ritual when attending mass and taking communion (per his request) with my elderly father. I may prefer the unprogrammed approach, but I now appreciate that others need and respond best to that human need for the tactile (as you put it). Along with that comes the need for those who can offer or are called to do this full time. Why limit the ways that the Spirit can move?

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  4. Joe, thanks for this very thoughtful comment. Again, I love these dialogues we’re having “across the lines.” I will wrestle more with whether “programmed” equates with “tactile”. I see your train of thought, and it’s helpful. I would qualify it with this: I guess what I’m longing for in my context of programmed, evangelical Friends is not simply to “copy” what other Christians are doing in worship, but to creatively think how our corporate worship experiences might effectively use the senses to get to the reality of experiencing God.I, too, greatly appreciate silence and unprogrammed worship. I want to state that clearly here. I would never want to give that up, and in fact long for programmed Friends to embrace more use of silence.

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