Mentoring God’s Generosity
By Greg Savage of Lee’s Summit, MO, USA
We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? —1 John 3:14, 16–17 NRSV
The ushers climbed the steps to the rostrum of the Stone Church Sanctuary to receive the offering from the participants in Sunday’s worship. I noticed that each one placed something in the baskets. They were mentoring the congregation in the act of giving.
This act of generosity brought back a memory when I traveled to congregations of the Southeast and Florida Mission Centers. In one congregation children were asked to collect the offering. Emma, a pre-teen, was a regular in helping with this task. She took this responsibility seriously, holding the basket respectfully as she went from one person to the next on the rostrum. Her expectation was that all were to give, so she patiently waited for each one to put something into the basket. Sometimes a sister or brother forgot the envelope or left it with a spouse in the pews. This didn’t deter Emma because she would stand in front of the person, waiting for someone to give that person a coin or dollar to put in the basket. Those in the congregation witnessed this and scrambled to have something to put in the basket when Emma came to them.
The spirit of discernment impressed on me that those on the rostrum on any given Sunday were mentoring the people in the congregation. So I began to share this concept with all of my congregations, including Stone Church where I last pastored. I believe that all church leaders should model this act of giving no matter where they are on Sundays, even if it is a token amount, because someone is watching whether we give or not.
The leaders of the church are sharing a definition of tithing that, in part, states that all priesthood and members are to tithe, and they are expected to teach, to mentor, and to share their monetary blessings in support of Christ’s mission. Sometimes we must be reminded by a child to do this faithfully.
May I see your light in all life.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Light of God
Close your eyes, and become centered with your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light, and it lives in you.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.