At Real Life Community, it’s never been about money.
There are endless stories of baggage folks carry around with them about churches and money…of how the ushers closed the doors until a certain amount was reached, or a pastor harped on it (and then everyone learned he was skimming off the top), or a deacon showed up to a member’s home to talk about how close the person was to 10%. We could go on (and on).
So, we try not to do those kinds of things. We don’t harp on it. I’m not coming to your house or asking for your financial records. None of that stuff. And we don’t even have ushers.
And yet, we also understand that a life of faithful tithing (giving 10% of our income to the local ministry/church) is an essential part of the practice of God’s people stretching at least all the way back to Abraham.
In my own life, I’ve experienced the many joys and blessings of being reminded each week, along with the other members of our church, that the resources I have been blessed with come from God and belong to God, that my well-being is ultimately in God’s hands, and that I have been invited to participate in the work of sharing in Kingdom ministry through tithes and offerings.
We don’t want anyone at Real Life Community to miss out on what Paul calls “the grace of giving” (2 Corinthians 8:7). We want our church culture to include a sense of joyful giving among all those who call Real Life Community “home.” We want to be (and become) generous people.
This is why we have a “Tithes & Offerings” box at the back of the sanctuary for you each week. It’s there as a helpful reminder that there is a grace available to each of us through giving each week. It’s in the sanctuary to remind us that the giving of tithes and offerings is an act of worship. It’s physically present so that even those of us who use the Real Life Community app to give online (like I do), can be reminded of this practice every time we pass it…and thank God for all he has shared with us.
Because of the joy that comes with learning to be generous and grateful people, I like to think of it as “The Joy Box.” I hope that you’ll take part in this grace of giving as well, and that you’ll find great joy in it.