“As we move toward commitment Sunday on November 20, I want to share with you a daily reading from Bishop Robert Schnase’s book, Practicing Extravagant Generosity: Daily Readings on the Grace of Giving.
It is through giving of ourselves as God has given to us that we help the body of Christ flourish. Offering our material resources to God is a fundamental activity that is so critical to the church’s mission that failure to perform it in an exemplary way leads to the decline of the church. Churches that nourish proportional giving and tithing among their members thrive. They accomplish great things for Christ, offer robust and confident ministry, and they prosper for the purposes of Christ and make a difference in the lives of people.
Every sanctuary and chapel in which we have worshipped, every church organ that has lifted our spirits, every pew where we have sat, every Communion rail where we have knelt, every hymnal from which we have sung, every praise band or choir that has touched our hearts, every church classroom where we have gathered with our friends, every church kitchen that has prepared our meals, every church van that has taken us to camp, on a mission trip, or to a meeting, every church cabin where we have slept – all are the fruit of someone’s extravagant generosity.
We have been the recipients of grace upon grace. We are the heirs, the beneficiaries of those who came before us who were touched by the generosity of Christ enough to give graciously so that we could experience the truth of Christ for ourselves. We owe the same to generations to come. We have worshipped in sanctuaries that we did not build, so to us falls the privilege of building sanctuaries where we shall never worship.
People who practice extravagant generosity pray for their congregations to flourish in the ministry of Christ for children, youth, adults, members, and strangers near and far. They serve the church, offering their best efforts. They push the church to offer bold and vital ministries that transform the world, relieving suffering, deepening justice, encouraging love. And they give – regularly, generously, sacrificially, faithfully, and humbly.
Extravagant Generosity is not just about the church’s need to receive, but about the Christian’s need to give. Generosity is an essential quality of spiritual maturity and growth. The practice of extravagant generosity changes churches.”
Will you help change our church? We want to be more outward reaching and inviting. We want to continue our ministries with children and youth. We want to keep singing new music and having vital worship. We want to make a difference in the lives of our church members and in the lives of those who live in our community and our neighborhood.
We need all of you to give as generously as you can. Please give from your heart – for your love of God and your church.