Some Thoughts on Giving to the Church

Often when one hears the word "giving" in relationship to the Church, one's mind goes to money. While paying one's fair share in thankfulness for God's blessings is very important to keep the Church viable--paying salaries, for utilities, possibly a mortgage, insurance, maintenance, ministries, etc.--more than the giving of money is needed to make a church close to being God's kingdom on earth.

Giving of oneself is a very important part of being a disciple of Christ, what church membership involves. When one decides to be a follower of Christ, becoming a member of the Church, a very important part of giving oneself is attending church services, Bible study, special activities held at the Church. One's attendance shows a dedication to the One who forgives the member for wrongs done, and a gratefulness of the member for the blessings God bestows on him/her. Further, in attending these activities, one enjoys fellowship with fellow believers. Also, giving of oneself as an officer of the Church requires making the sacrifice to be at meetings at which policies may be set, volunteering for initiatives the Session or Deacon Board or Trustee Board may decide to take on, as well as showing concern for fellow Christians. Serving as an officer calls for leadership and being a servant of those who elected him/her and the Lord. Another example of giving of oneself may involve service as an usher of the Church. To be a good usher, one needs to make the sacrifice to arrive early for services in order to be in place to receive members and guests that come to church, greeting them with a warn smile (though you may not feel like smiling), giving them a bulletin so that they can follow the service, and/or possibly leading them to a seat. Serving as an usher importantly gives attendees the first glimpse of Christian behavior at a particular Church.

One might also decide to serve as a liturgist during church services. This involves one's sacrifice to come early, be in a worshipful mood by preparing for the order of service, familiarizing oneself with the scriptural readings and prayers to be prayed. Also, one may decide to work in the children's ministry, which again requires sacrifice. One must be energetic, prepared to keep the youngsters busy and involved in activities that will teach them about God and Jesus, and dedicated to promoting Christianity. Lastly, to be involved in the music ministry of the church requires one to make the sacrifice to attend rehearsals, a willingness to work on musical numbers as long as it takes in order to be prepared to render them at services, to arrive early for church services in order to be in prayer and a worshipful mood to lead the congregants in singing to the glory of God.

All who are a part of the Body of Christ, the Church, are called to "give of [their] best to the Master" ( words from a hymn by Howard B. Grose, 1851-1939); anything less than the best is not worthy of a Christian.

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