The Oasis - October 4, 2023

Author: Rev. Eric Dupee
October 04, 2023

     On the surface, my Oasis topic this week might not seem inspirational or “spiritual.” I would argue that it is spiritual. The topic is the church pledge campaign for 2024: Your Generosity Changes Lives. More specifically, my topic is “Why pledge?” 
     The more mundane, but very important reason is that without an estimate of how much money people intend to contribute, the church can’t plan. In fact, I prefer to use the phrase “estimate of giving” rather than the word pledge. An estimate is all we ask. There’s no judgment and no pressure if it turns out someone becomes unable to give as much as they estimated. Unexpected things happen to all of us. In the end, we have no other way to make decisions about which ministries and programs we can offer, other than basing those decisions on our giving estimates. The estimate of giving is the lifeblood of the church.
     Along with the practical matters relating to making an estimate of giving, regular giving towards God’s work in the world through the church is a spiritual discipline. It’s a means by which we grow closer to God and one another. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). 
     Secondly, regular giving to the church could be the most important way to put God first in our lives. We can determine all our other expenses and give to God’s work from the leftovers. I recommend the opposite approach. I suggest determining a percentage of our income to offer the church, make it the priority, then we determine all our other life activities based on that which is leftover. 
     That’s a way of putting God first. That approach helps us to grow and mature in our faith, because it affirms our trust that God will provide for us. It demonstrates that we worship a God of abundance and not a God of scarcity. It makes the life of faith an adventure. It allows the church to flourish and make an impact in the world. The more generous we are, the more lives we can change for the better.

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