One of the most gratifying aspects of this COVID-19 church-shutdown that we’re in is to see how so many in our congregation make such an intentional and deliberate effort to get their weekly or monthly offering to the church. That shows that many of you care deeply about Vine Street Christian Church. It turns out that a very high percentage of our regular givers are from the ranks of our seniors. The weekly offering has become a part of their religious lifestyle and a representation of their relationship with God. 

Of course, many others give to our church regularly, and generously. But the practice of regular giving is not necessarily an embedded part of their religious life. Many folks give a little when they come, and sometimes a lot. And I wonder if that’s how their relationship with God works; “I know you’re there for me when I need you, and I’ll call on you when I get desperate enough!”  That’s probably not a very effective system for sustaining a local church over the years.  But it sure beats the alternative. 

The truth about the offering is that it provides a way for Jesus followers to complete the act of communion with Jesus on a regular basis. It becomes a spiritual practice and an important part of one’s relationship with God. And … oh yeah … the part we don’t like to talk about much; it provides money for the operations, staffing and maintenance of the church. I don’t shy away from that reality because I see it as an amazing aspect of church life that churches all across the world – through all the ages – have been supported essentially by their members and friends. Actually, it’s very unique in our own American culture. There’s really nothing else quite like it. 

Thus, I see the offering as a win-win for the church. Individual believers are provided the opportunity to make a specific sacrifice for God from the own resources, just as God made a specific sacrifice for each of them through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. And, it’s also a way to sustain the church, and be able to offer everything that an institutional church with Jesus’s name on it things that it should be offering. 

So, on behalf of all of us who benefit directly from your offerings, we say THANK YOU! To each and every one of you who has placed a coin or dollar in the plate or given online … this church is for you, just as Jesus died for you. And, if you’re not yet in the habit of using sacrificial giving as one of your regular spiritual practices, then you may want to consider praying to God about it. That’s the best way to approach anything you do in your life! 

This prayer below is for all of you. For the givers, I hope you find it inspiring and affirming of your giving to the church. For others, I hope that the practical realities of the church offering lifted up in this prayer touch you in your heart and show you a way to join in the financial support of the our church as a regular giver – for your own spiritual benefit. 

In either case, I’d love to know what you think about it! 


“We offer to you, O God, this money and rejoice in all it will buy and pay for. We thank you that some of it will pay for baloney and cheese from Wal-Mart to feed hungry people.  A few dollars will pay for the work sheets our children carry home after Sunday school. May what they learn here help shape their character and life values. 

“Some of this offering will pay the electricity and heat for this building where we come to worship you, where homeless people come for help, and where other groups meet to help each other and our community.

“We thank you that this offering will pay for our pastor’s salary and the salaries of the church staff who devote themselves to organizing this congregation to make disciples of Jesus to transform the world. May our work here be wise and courageous. And a small portion of this money will help pay our regional office ministers and support the work of all of our DOC ministries around the world.

“We thank you also, God, that the money will not be spent on things that we might desire but that will not really bring us happiness. We thank you that when we give to you, we learn to seek our happiness not in things but in you, and we find a truer happiness this way.

“We thank you, God, that when we give to you rather than spending more on ourselves we fulfill the trust you have placed in us by blessing us with so much. You have blessed us with life, strength, intelligence, abilities and resources, and we thank you for the opportunity to give you joy by being generous to you and others. It is a great blessing to be able to give this money. 

“We know that the way we use the money we have shapes our hearts and affections. So we are grateful that we will love you more as a result of giving this treasure to you. May we give even more to you this coming week so we will love you even more.

“We also remember that some of us who have given the fewest dollars have been the most generous, and some of us who have given more dollars have not given as sacrificially. Still we rejoice in this money we present to you, God. We delight in it. We delight in what it will buy and what it will not buy because we didn’t keep it for ourselves. We love giving you this money, God. Thank you that the Word became flesh and began this earthly Christian movement of love, inclusion, justice, beauty and joy so that we might give our dollars to help fuel it. In gratitude for the blessing of being able to give our money, we pray. Amen.” 

(Acknowledgements to Rev. Dean Snyder – Foundry United Methodist Church, Wash., DC) 

Praying for God’s Love in All that We Do & Give! 

Pastor Bob <><