The music ended up being really good. The sound mix was pretty horrible where I was sitting, but is was in the deaf interpreted section, so I don’t know what it sounded like else where. But the song selection was good, modern songs like “the stand”, and much older fare like “it is well with my soul” with a slightly modernized sound but maintaining the classic tune. I liked the guys voice a lot, and they did a good job aside from the mix.
The message was not quite full on bible church, and tended a little more towards three point sermon, and the “get out your bible” parts had a “or you can look in your bulletin and read it later it is all in there”. And the idea for this sermon series was to talk about things that new vistors might think was weird or make them uncomfortable. and then to talk about it. So they had covered communion, and christian fellowship. and today was money. specifically tithing.
Now any of you who have attended church, you know how this goes. I can see you reading this and cringing as the one guy who is not normally in a suit comes up and gives the finance report.. or the building report.. or the stewardship reports.. and he or she looks awkward, and sounds awkward. And they come up with a bible story/personal story for the following sermon that really drives home how much you should be giving.. and then they pass out pledge cards… you are supposed to pray about it and bring it up during communion or drop them off at the end of the service. And then the band will play a song like “I give you everything Lord”.
To the cynical among us this is a torturous farce. You leave thinking less of the biblical scholarship of the participants, the sincerity of everyone involved, and if you are a first time visitor, you may never come back.
I think that is true for a lot of people. And that is fully what I was expecting going in.
But before the sermon kicked off in full, we were told “God is not about to run out of money” and that “we are not going to do a collection or pledge cards after this sermon”. They had already done the offering. So I listen but am still a little, ok more than a little skecptical.
So they get near the end of the sermon and the pastor announces.. “Ok we are not doing another offering, but the ushers will be coming back down the isles”.. “oh great” I think “here comes the catch”. The part I was sure had been coming.
So he goes on to explain, they will pass around the plates, and they will have envelopes, and everyone should take one. At this point I am thinking that we are supposed to take them home, pray over it, and send it back in.
But he continues with “and in the envelopes are bills, 5, 10, 20 even some 100 dollar bills” and he instructs everyone, vistors too, to grab on and go do something good with it, something God focused, and come back to the web site and let us know what you did.
They put about $15,000 dollars back out to the people to do go mission work, support good causes, buy someone a latte so you can have a “what do you know about Jesus” talk. And apparently the elders of the church signed off on it enthusiatically.
Needless to say, I haven’t quite seen a money talk that wrapped up like that ever. If you want to see it the sermon should be online soon if it is not already at :http://www.mckinneychurch.com/default.asp?contentID=30
So my question for you is, do you think your church would ever sign up to do that? and if they did pass out a 100 bill to you, what “good thing” would you do with it?