The way church should be…

Great article from CNN I read about last week regarding how I think church should be. Read the article below, with my commentary to follow.

(CNN) — The pastor of a non-denominational church in Argyle, Texas, passed around the collection plate to his congregants earlier this year — and asked them to take money from it.

Donations at the Cross Timbers Community Church had slumped because of the economic downturn. Pastor Toby Slough thought that his congregants had to be hurting, too. His gesture, instead, was met with an unexpected response: The church had its highest offering ever.

It was a eureka moment for Slough: Give away money to those who need it, knowing his church members will help fill the need. “In these economic times, we can’t be so into church business that we forget what our business is, and that is to help people,” Slough told CNN television affiliate KDAF in Dallas-Forth Worth, Texas.

In the past two months, the 9-year-old church has done just that: handed out a half-million dollars to members and non-members who are struggling.

“We’ve taken $200,000 and spread it out to organizations — four local, two missions that are feeding and clothing people in these tough times,” Slough said. “We’ve paid utility bills for members of our church that are unemployed or under-employed.”

His favorite giveaway came three weeks ago. The church gave 1,400 families $50 each and told them to hand it out to someone else. One of the recipients was Katie Lewis. “I’ve been alone so long. Just to be thought of and to be remembered, to be welcomed — it’s amazing,” she said, crying. Church members are pleasantly surprised. “You don’t hear about a church giving money away,” Amy Sullivan said. Slough said he is not concerned if people try to take advantage of the church’s generosity.

The church has now formed a group to look into the best ways to give out money. And, Slough said, it plans on doing so as long as there is a need in the community

What makes this story incredibly hype is that far too many churches berate their members to give to the building fund, church anniversary fund, or join the VIP or the $1,000 line. People are hurting and if I recall correctly, the purpose of giving to church is to maintain or expand the church ministry along with having enough resources in the store house for God’s children. This storehouse concept is all but lost in many of the churches I know and the fact that it made CNN, speaks to how relatively rare this kind of generosity is. I wish more churches went this route because if we are not helping people in their time of need, we as the church risk losing relevance.

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

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3 responses to “The way church should be…”

  1. Danielle says :

    Thanks for sharing this article Brandon. I’ve been frustrated with black churches for awhile, mostly because of the emphasis they place on the offering. It’s not uncommon to see the offering plate go around three and four times. and i always wonder if I didn’t have it the first time, what makes them think i’ll have it on the 2nd or 3rd go round. It’s probably unfortunate, but I would like to know if the church mentioned in the post was a predominantly black or white church. I’m not sure that it matters; it’s a lesson we all can take. Thanks for the work you do. Giving you love from the D!

  2. Brandon Q. says :

    Thanks for the love Danielle,

    The church featured in the article was predominantly White; at least from what I could tell from the screen shots. Regardless of the complexion of the church, I don’t see why this is not considered standard fare for all churches. Quite frankly, I get more than a little annoyed when churches make 30 minute appeals for the building fund when the church is less than half-filled.

    On another note, I think the crazy part about this experiment is that the day the pastor announced the change, the church had the biggest offering in months. That is very telling. Are there any churches in Michigan doing this?

  3. Danielle says :

    I remember visiting one church in which the offering was taken up as we exited. I thought that was a novel idea. They didn’t waste time focusing on the offering, but the message. In all honesty, however, I haven’t heard of any churches doing this. It’s really sad actually. It’s so bad that I think many who need help refrain from going to the church because they don’t expect to get help. I really wonder what the response would be from a round table of pastors if this article was shared. I would surely want to be a fly on the wall in that room

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