#13: Why Do We Take an Offering?
Why do we pass the plates to collect money every Sunday? Let us first dispel two misconceptions: 1) the church is not expecting anyone to "pay for" the service. There is no admission fee to worship. 2) The church is not begging for donations to maintain its existence. The church could come up with other ways to obtain funding. No, we pass the plates to allow God's people to give. Self-offering is the only appropriate response to the gift and calling of the gospel presented in the sermon. We pass and fill the plates to show our joyful gratitude for God's self-giving in Jesus Christ and to commit ourselves to discipleship with our lives, our service, and our material goods. Although many members give online, they put an "I gave online" token in the plate so that they can enact their response to God. Giving is part of worship. "Tithing" (10% of one's income) is a form of committed, regular giving while"offerings" are prompted by special sentiments or occasions. Taken together, tithes and offerings are dedicated to God to show our stewardship of creation, demonstrate our care for one another, support the church, and provide for the needs of the poor. Now you know Why We Do That.