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Why I’m Against Every-Sunday Offering Collection

September 27th, 2011
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I know that a person can go back in time and show me that the most common practice in the Lutheran Church, historically, is to offer people present in Church on Sunday the opportunity to participate in the offering, but I am troubled by the fact that we are offering this opportunity too often. It is obviously no longer something special for people. They are just going through the motions and it won’t mean as much if we keep offering it every Sunday. It is time to stop taking up the offering every Sunday. Once a month, or maybe once a quarter would be best, but surely not more than two times a month. I don’t really care that some people really want to participate in the collection of the offering, every Sunday. They should not impose their personal opinions on others, like me. Too often is a bad thing. It will lead to bad attitudes and a lack of preparation for participating in the offering.

And for that matter, saying the Lord’s Prayer every Sunday is a bit much too. It just doesn’t seem special anymore. And listening to a sermon, we do that way too often. And singing hymns, that’s too much of a good thing too. And, for that matter, when I really think through what I’m suggesting here, I’m also going to have to say that I think reading the Bible too often is bad, and in fact, I really don’t think we should be expected to attend church every Sunday. That’s just making it way too common an experience, and again, it won’t be special and won’t be as meaningful. Besides, the Roman Catholics attend church every Sunday, pray the Lord’s Prayer every Sunday, and they take up an offering every Sunday. The last thing we Lutherans want to be accused of is being like the Roman Catholics. Taking the offering every Sunday is just too Catholic and doesn’t belong in a real Lutheran Church.

Less is more, that’s what I say.

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Categories: Humor
  1. September 27th, 2011 at 13:15 | #1
  2. SorenK
    September 27th, 2011 at 13:41 | #3

    I’m not sure what inspired the original post, but I don’t believe to some people it’s as humorous as you think. There is a real disconnect growing between setting aside an offering on the first day of the week and Sunday worship. If that’s your point, it’s all too true.

  3. Rev. Dustin Beck
    September 27th, 2011 at 14:05 | #4

    Didn’t mention weekly reception of the Lord’s Supper…that might be a clue… :)

  4. Quinn
    September 27th, 2011 at 14:49 | #5

    You guys realize that this is about every Sunday Communion, right?

  5. Rev. Dustin Beck
    September 27th, 2011 at 15:41 | #6

    @Quinn

    yep.

  6. Steve
    September 27th, 2011 at 15:50 | #7

    I really am tired to hearing that my sins are forgiven. I hear that every Sunday. I want to hear that I’m OK with God. I want to hear about my best life now. I want to hear about how good life. I want to feel good about myself.

  7. Rev. Michael Penikis
    September 27th, 2011 at 16:01 | #8

    Realized it pretty much right away.

    SorenK (#3), you make a germane point. How many would miss entirely the point of such a tongue-in-cheek proposal, take it seriously, and embrace it wholeheartedly!

    Cute dog & caption, by the way.

  8. Matt
    September 27th, 2011 at 16:18 | #9

    The Lord’s Prayer, the liturgy, the hymnal, the reading of scripture, the creeds, the organ, the building, the regularly-called and ordained pastor, The Lord’s Supper and baptism are all adiophora.

    But the offering? Seriously. Have you no respect for tradition?

  9. Larry Luder
    September 27th, 2011 at 20:01 | #10

    ROTGL

  10. Pastor Keith Brustuen
    September 27th, 2011 at 20:09 | #11

    That’s why I hardly ever read this blog.

    • September 27th, 2011 at 20:49 | #12

      Keith, I had one feeling left, and you just hurt it.
      : )

  11. Lisa Stapp
    September 27th, 2011 at 20:55 | #13

    Pastor McCain,

    Don’t Give People Ideas! Some folks might not realize that this is humor pointing in a gentle way of pointing towards the real problem.

  12. Michael Mohr
    September 27th, 2011 at 23:05 | #14

    From what I recall of history, there is more of a connection than one might think.

    Many moons ago (long before the church was even split between East and West, much less Roman Catholic and Lutheran), the elements for Holy Communion were gathered out of the offerings received that day. Daily communion = daily offering.

  13. Merv James
    September 28th, 2011 at 03:33 | #15
  14. Neely Owen
    September 28th, 2011 at 06:46 | #16

    Good post. My wife and I for several reasons began giving on a quarterly basis about a year ago and can appreciate what you say here but for reasons apparently unrelated to your reasons for posting. Humor aside — giving regularly but not ever Sunday has not diminshed our giving amount, but has increased our awareness of what we give and why. It is important to be careful not to ascribe judgment to anyone’s motivation regarding the regularity with which they place something in the plate.

  15. Pr. Mark Schroeder
    September 28th, 2011 at 07:18 | #17

    In one congregation I served the trays for the individual communions cups were aluminum and the offering plates were silver-plated: now that’s getting priorities right!

  16. Michael Mohr
    September 28th, 2011 at 13:43 | #18

    @Neely Owen
    There is something to be said for tying the giving to the receiving. Puts it rightly as response to gift rather than compulsory obligation.
    Conversations I’ve had with a few parishioners (topic initiated by them and all the information coming entirely voluntarily, coming during a casual, non-confidential chat) revealed that several do not give every week. Some contribute on the Sunday after the 1st and 15th (paydays). Others are farmers, so their contributions are annual – literally firstfruits of the harvest. But it is done as joyous, proportional response to what God has first given.
    But even if your discipline is not every Sunday (offering or communion), that is not a justification for obligating everyone to conform to your discipline by not offering the opportunity every week.

  17. September 30th, 2011 at 13:10 | #19

    My friend from Ethiopia told me that they go by the church office the first of the month and pay their tithe. What they give on Sunday is an offering. That can be done in a box.

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