All good things come to an end.

That saying is a bunch of crap. All good things change, and if you've read your bible, it would be better to say all good things change into something better.
Paul would remind us even bad things can be changed into something good (i.e. Death and resurrection)

Our "Spouse Retreat" is not over, but Cheryl and I had to leave to catch our flight.

This morning, Mike Slaughter talked about his focus on stewardship at Ginghamsburg UMC. A few things I loved:

-He isn't afraid to ask for the tithe because he considers it God's tithe, not his. That kind of gumption is, well, why I like Mike's style.

-He constantly talked about how it is our jobs to make disciples, it is Jesus job to grow the church.

-The budget at Ginghamsburg is lopsided towards mission. In his book, Money Matters (that I haven't read yet) he gives numbers. But basically, their operating budget is below what they spend just in Darfur. Do you know any churches like that? Geez man, if every church gave that much to mission, could you imagine how many souls would be won for Christ? Do you kow how the Kingdom of God would grow in faithfulness and care of those without?

Its only fair I mention some things I found difficult:

-I don't like asking for money. Bottom line. I think my fear is rooted in the tying up of my role as pastor with my desire to be liked. Let me throw that out there. The gifts of the Kingdom are greater than what money can achieve, but if the Kingdom of God should move all creation towards liberating the oppressed, its obvious the negation of Money is not the answer, the negation of greed is. And it don't want anyone to think I'm greedy, so I don't talk about money. I know I know, shame on me.

-Mike said people don't give to parking lots. He's right, they need a vision. But how do you appropriately get people to give to parking lots without implying they are giving to something else and you use their money on parking lots? That make sense? If our job is to make disciples of Jesus and Jesus job is to grow the church, can I divert funds to parking lots to facilitate a place to put you new shiney bmw?*

eh.. Low blow on my part.

More later, I'm looking over my notes

*To be sure, there are Christians who don't drive bmw's.  And that is certainly not the norm at Ginghamsburg.  I went from thinking about how some churches (like Ginghamsburg) try to keep operating costs at a minimum so 1) they can be involved in mission 2) they don't get in hot water financially trying to maintain buildings.

But that thought made me think of the many churches that are not so worried about mission and just getting people in the pews.


  1. Jack, love the honesty here, bro. Quick question - if instead of building a bigger church with bigger parking lots, can you utilize the homes of the church members as places of meeting and discipleship? It's not exactly the satellite model (of which I'm no fan), but it's another option regarding the way that church is "done." (if I had my way, though I understand that this is premature for the current pew sitter, I'd say we do away with the church buildings altogether; honestly, I think that's where we're headed, especially if our track record is going to be anything like Britain, where lots and lots of churches have turned into apartment buildings, nightclubs, and stores). How does the vision we are "casting" reflect the culture of what our society will be 10 years down the road? I think this has to be the kind of thinking the denominations have if they're going to stay afloat. [If you read your quips, give me a wink over at Facebook...Love reading your blog by the way.]

  2. When there is a lack of corporate space to facilitate worship, I can understand building a parking lot to bring people together. As with anything in the church, the motive behind it has a lot to do with why you do it. I think Mike was talking about the good kind of motive - that as the church grows, we should facilitate growth (whether through maximizing worship space or moving stuff into homes)

    You are right though Dan, there is a lot that can be done in churches just by using homes - and thats a good way to facilitate fellowship. Mike is adamant that the old church growth models of the 90's are over. Just striving for numbers is not the best way to do ministry.

  3. I don't tithe because the church or God need my money. I tithe because *I* need to give. the temple did not benefit from the widow's mite, but she sure did & that is why she gave. not from a selfish motive either, but from an understanding that tithe is worship.


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