A friend told me recently that he and his wife have chosen to participate in a bank account deduction giving option that their church offered. The offering is deducted from their bank account on a regular basis and placed in the church account, all done electronically. Not writing checks or having to remember to take them to church to put in the offering plate seemed like a good idea. He realizes now that there are drawbacks.
One concern is that his children no longer see him putting anything into the offering plate, so they are probably wondering, “Why don’t Mom and Dad support the church any more?” Of course, other members may be thinking the same thing! What kind of example is he setting?
As important to my friend is that he feels that he is missing out on an act of worship. Offering something back to God in a tactile way can be a very satisfying act of worship.
I understand how my friend feels. I have often said that offering is an essential part of worship. Drop anything else, but keep the offering! This has nothing to do with ensuring the financial viability of the congregation. Failure to provide this opportunity to respond in offering truncates the worship experience.
If anything, we need more rather than fewer ways for worshippers to respond. I still like altar calls and opportunities for members to respond in some tangible way. We need the chance to use our feet and hands in worship as well as our voices.
My friend is thinking about some way to continue his bank deduction and still participate in the act of giving in worship. Any ideas?