I was recently asked when giving is – and isn’t – appropriate. This post is my answer!
But first, to prevent anyone from reading this post and thinking it discourages giving, let me be clear at the beginning that Scripture frequently commands giving, and therefore, we should be generous:
- Deuteronomy 16:17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.
- Proverbs 21:26b The righteous gives and does not spare.
- Luke 3:11 Jesus said, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”
It is a great blessing to be able to help those in need. As the saying goes, “It’s as much a gift to give as to receive.” Being able to come together as a family and tell your children, “This family is struggling. God has blessed us, and we’re going to help to them in this way. Let’s pray for the family and thank God for the opportunity He’s given us to give to them in their time of need.” Continue reading “When Giving Actually Makes You a Poor Steward”
Sunday’s sermon was about the vision of WCC, but I’d also like to discuss what I (and the rest of the leadership team) don’t mean by “church vision.” I understand for many churches vision is talking about where the church will be in some number of years. Since I’ve been at WCC we’ve never had a leadership meeting discussing where we expect to be in the future, and I think there are three reasons for this…
First, you can make an argument from Scripture that we’re discouraged from saying what we’re going to do, or saying what we believe is going to happen:
- Proverbs 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, For you do not know what a day may bring forth.
- James 4:13, 14 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow.
- In Luke 12:13-21 Jesus told a parable about a man called a fool by God because he made great plans for the future, not knowing what the near future would hold (and for him it was death).
Second, it seems presumptuous to say where we’re going to be or what we’re going to do. Of course I can say five years down the road we’ll still be teaching God’s Word and we’ll still be a family church, but those are more descriptions of our values, who we are, what we want to focus on…as opposed to where we see ourselves.
Third, we don’t know who is going to join the church, what situations we’re going to face, what needs will arise, etc, so how can we say where we’re going to be or what we’re going to do? I understand this brings up the question of how we approach the future, and I’d say we pray for God to direct us, we trust He’s guiding us, and we deal with circumstances as they arrive. This is what we’ve done with the sound system, bylaws, carpet, installation of deacons, associate pastor position, etc. Currently we’re tossing around the idea of home fellowships and accountability groups. As opposed to saying, “By June we’re going to have four home fellowships and men’s accountability groups” we’re waiting to see how these develop while praying, “Lord, if this is Your will, please make it clear, and if it’s not, please make that clear too.”
While this post discussed what we don’t mean by vision, if you would like to understand the vision of WCC please listen to this sermon.