Don’t miss this…because this is important. Understand that once people sense the local church exists merely to raise funds for the corporate Church they feel like spectators rather than players. Such confusion about the role of the local church (and the people in it) topples the first domino in a cascading failure that degrades a denomination from “mainline” to “sideline.” This is a hands-on society comprised of individuals who’ve lost trust in institutions; people today want to do it themselves. There is a deep pool of volunteers with the desire to personally experience meaningful service. They know they only go around once in life and they want to drink deeply of the adventure…not send money to someone else so they have all the joy.
Instead, they will divvy up their offerings among the various organizations bombarding them for money: United Way, Red Cross, Salvation Army, UNICEF, the FOP and the Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy research. As that happens, the tithe is pulled from the local church, God removes his blessing and the local church becomes a pale shadow of the Biblically functioning community scripture describes. Congregations become sick and stop growing. Healthy grows.
Mark Beeson, pastor of Granger UMC