I’ll be honest.
I used to think that the offering was a necessary evil in a worship service. It ate up time, broke the flow, and disengaged people. It was always a challenge to find some way to use that time well other than having a token special music. I saw it as more of a transitional element than as an expression of worship.
Thankfully, my perspective has been broadened.
The offering is actually a valuable part of the corporate worship experience. You may be skeptical, but hear me out.
The offering can be one of the most valuable means of participation and worship that we can do together.
One of the things we need to realize is that God doesn’t need our money. We aren’t “helping” God get the work done when we give.
What the offering does is provide a means for the body of Christ to recognize and respond in obedience to a number of things:
- The blessing of God in our life in whatever form it might be.
- God’s amazing gift of His Son to us.
- His lordship in our lives and over all things.
The offering is a great means of response to truth. The truth of God. The reality of His presence. Just as we recognize His worth with our hearts and voices in singing, we give testimony to the fact He is our King by choosing to physically giving one of those things we hold most dear – our financial resources.
Offering is also a community builder. As we give, it enables the body to accomplish together what we could not do individually. As spiritual leaders, we can celebrate and champion the fact that we do this together.
In fact, the act of giving has been a part of worship expression since the beginning of time. Abel gave in worship to God. Bringing a sacrifice (i.e. an offering) was a major component of worship for the Israelites. Jesus drew many connections between the act of giving, worship, and our hearts in His teaching.
That’s why I see the offering as more than just a transitional element now. It’s an important part of corporate worship. We give, and lead our congregations in giving, as a response to the greatness and blessing of our God. We together deliberatively express obedience and thanksgiving for His blessings. In giving, we affirm the belief that all belongs to God, and we are simply stewards.
Does that mean the only acceptable means of giving is by passing an offering plate in a room full of people? Of course not. They are many ways it can be done. The point I hope you walk away with is that it isn’t a waste of time or something we endure, but a valuable part of discipleship and worship.
And besides, have you ever heard of a person who complains the church doesn’t care about anything except money accepting Christ as Savior just because a church stopped collecting the offering? I didn’t think so.
As we give, may we together express praise and thanksgiving with a joyful heart.
How does your church handle offerings?