Pray with your money?
Give first, pray later? Christian leader and author Tony Campolo was once a guest speaker at a mission rally, when he was asked to lead in prayer for a missionary doctor the group supported. The goal of the prayer? That God might provide the $5000 urgently needed for the medical centre the doctor ran.
Tony refused. He knew his audience was made up of people who were materially prosperous. So he began emptying his own pockets as an example he wanted others to follow, and declared he would pray after everyone in the room gave to the project. (I know Tony Campolo, and this very much sounds like something he would do!) The audience was stunned. But after some hesitation, seeing him empty himself of every bit of money he had that day, everyone started following suit. The prayer of request soon became a prayer of thanksgiving, for by the end of the giving they had collected $8000, much more than was needed in the first place! (From Let Me Tell You A Story, by Tony Campolo).
I think this is a story about how prayer is really not just about closing our eyes and bowing our heads; it’s about using our life – our money, our energy, all we have – for the sake of God’s Kingdom. We do pray with our money. What if we challenged each other to give enough to fully fund our mission before we held our first service of 2020? An interesting idea to ponder. Perhaps the flaw there is the threat of forgoing something (our worship), when really Stewardship is ALL about gaining a life that is marked by a joyful sense of thanksgiving and generosity. And that is indeed my prayer for us this year.
This Sunday: consecrating our gifts. This is the time of year when we ask all of the members of PCOL to prayerfully consider their giving commitment for the coming year. This coming Sunday is Stewardship Commitment Sunday, and all those gathered for worship will have an opportunity to consecrate (that is, dedicate to God) their giving commitment. You should have received a pledge card in the mail. You can bring that in if you have not already sent it in; there will also be extras in the pews. Or, you can make a pledge online, and we will give you a token to use to consecrate your gift. You will find instructions for how to make a pledge below.
Why your gift matters so much this year. As I mentioned this past Sunday, this year will be a critical year for us; your giving is essential if we are to continue the excellent worship, programming and mission that has been a hallmark of our congregation for over three centuries. If you have not increased your giving, we’d ask you to prayerfully consider increasing it by a sacrificial amount this year. And if you have not been making a giving commitment, we urge you to do so this year.
I give thanks for you! As the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 1:2, “We give thanks constantly for you.” One of the key ingredients in developing a generous life is to practice thanksgiving. As you think about what you will give, please also know that I and the leaders of this church are constantly giving thanks for you, your generosity, the amazing work that so many offer as we seek to be the Body of Christ here and now. Thank you!
Just click the button above to make your pledge online, using a simple email, or using our Realm giving system. You can even set things up for your gift to be automatically deducted from your bank account at regular intervals.
Join us this Sunday!
– Jeff Vamos