Unsettled Christianity

Unsettled Christianity | 9/20/2018 | Scott Fritzsche
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It is that time of year again when many churches will engage in their stewardship campaigns. Numerous churches will use a prepackaged plan to increase giving one way or another. Some churches will have a sermon, or a series of sermons, on the importance of giving, then the cards will be passed out to be filled out dutifully and the year will roll on. In most, if not all, branches of the church, the goal will be the tithe, that is to say 10% giving. Net or gross you might ask, according to recognized experts in church health Rev. Clif Christopher and Rev. Herb Mather, the important thing is that you begin to tithe with the goal being to tithe on the gross. (Holy Smoke! Whatever Happened to Tithing?) Let’s be honest here, none of us likely enjoys talking about church giving. At the same time all of us likely recognize that giving is an important spiritual discipline that Christians should engage in. I won’t pretend to know how to talk about the subject well, but I do know some ways to not talk about it. I want to begin with a few of them here.

Things - Implication - Manipulation - Mongering - Marketing

1. Please don’t say things like “we trust that you care enough to”…the implication here is that if you do not do what ever comes after, you do not care. This is subtle manipulation at best, and outright guilt mongering at worst. It’s great marketing, and a brilliant way to get people to give, and I would not argue otherwise, but the reality is that you coerce people into giving, and we do not conform to the likeness of Christ through coercion, but through faithfulness. Hallmark built a greeting card empire using this very same approach. When you care enough to send...
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