According to a study* that’s now several years old, among young non-Christians, nine out of the top 12 perceptions they hold of Christianity were negative. The top three negative perceptions were that present-day Christianity is judgmental (87%), hypocritical (85%), and old-fashioned (78%). I was pleased not to read in the top three, “They’re always asking for money.”
That is one of the negative reputations the church has, and sometimes I feel like it’s deserved. The fact of the matter is that it costs money for the church to fulfill its basic mission in the world. Add because we see additional needs that are unfulfilled, special offerings are also requested.
We also talk about money because Jesus talked about money … a lot. In fact, the only thing he talked about more than money is the kin-dom of God, and even then he was often also talking about money.
I think he talked about money so much because he saw the connection between what we do with our money and what we truly believe. The simple fact of the matter is that we spend our money on what matters to us. As Jesus put it, “Where you treasure is, there is your heart also.”
Well, we are entering a season where Niles Discovery Church is going to give you a whole bunch of opportunities to give or use your money, so you may need to pick and choose. Here’s a quick rundown:
- You can always contribute to the food barrel for the foodbank at Tri-City Volunteers.
- Each month, we have a special offering. In November, we will receive money to support a homeless family later this winter. In December, we will receive money for Puente.
- During November, we also have our turkey drive, where we receive money to purchase turkeys in bulk for the foodbank.
- During December, we will invite you to give gifts for Puente to give to their clients.
- There is an ongoing fundraising to purchase a new (to us) organ for our new sanctuary.
- The Angel Fund is always accepting donations for “extras” in our new church facility – things like start-of-the-art audio visual systems, comfortable and classy chairs for the sanctuary, a special design in the patio cement to go with our baptismal font, etc.
It truly is because of your generosity that we can extend God’s extravagant welcome, that we can help each other grow in our faith, and that we can serve our neighbors near and far.
* “A New Generation Expresses its Skepticism and Frustration with Christianity,” Barna Group, https://www.barna.org/barna-update/teens-nextgen/94-a-new-generation-expresses-its-skepticism-and-frustration-with-christianity#.VESY6IeGtG4 (posted 24 September 2007, accessed 19 October 2014)