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I'm the church treasurer. We handle things a bit differently in that we base our annual budget on the pledges of our members. (We start with the pledges and build our budget on that--sort of zero-based budgeting, if you will.)

Most, but not all, of our members pledge. For those that do pledge, I do create a report that goes to the Pastor (only) reporting on pledge giving. This is used primarily for pastoral concerns: sometimes we know that someone is not meeting their pledge due to public circumstances (job loss, etc.). In that case no contact is made directly referencing the pledge. But if there is a significant discrepancy where there isn't a known reason, contact is made--both for diaconal and pastoral concerns.

Giving by non-pledgers is not reported. In addition, we have some members who pledge but then give in cash, so that is not tracked (although hundred-dollar bills in the offering plate are a pretty good indication).

The pastor does preach annually on giving. We are a church with a large number of recent converts and have found that there is a need to introduce the concept of tithing. We also cover it in our membership class, but we have found that the annual teaching does help remind everyone of the importance of this type of faithfulness in the Christian life.

I mean no disrespect to those parties for whom this is an important issue. But this does seem to me like arguing over what music to play while the Titannic is sinking. It is sad to me that a post on the command of Jesus to "Go and make disciples"--and how we might best accomplish that--would, regrettably, receive far less participation. How can we preach the love of Christ and his grace and reconcilliation when we can't even sit in the same room 3 or 4 times a year with our brothers and sisters with whom we disagree?



Posted in: Monday, Monday

Such an important topic!

Sabbath-keeping helps us to remember that we are not indispensible to God's work. He does the work, not us!

If a pastor does not "keep Sabbath", what message does that send to his/her congregation about its importance?

I also encourage pastors to remember that "service" is not synonymous with "keeing Sabbath" for members of the flock. When we make weeekends so busy with "work days", Sunday School classes that need to be taught, Bible Studies and other activities, the flock is denied a Sabbath rest.

Mark, Random thoughts in response:

I wonder how this is different between Aristotle's spectrum of vice and virtue?

Certainly as Christians we recognize the downward spiral that indulging temptations takes us to (James 1:14).

I appreciate the implications of an "illness" that there is the ability for healing. And the distinction between this and mental illness that may unfairly stigmatize the mentally ill. (I would assume that a person, then, could be both morally and mentallly ill? Or would you make the case that a socio/psychopath could not be morally ill because they can no longer distinguish morality? )

What wold you suggest are the practical implications ramifications of such a diagnosis? And who would be qualified to treat it?

Lots of interesting fodder for thought and discussion!

Julia Bailey on February 3, 2011

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Larry, I agree. When I was president of our Deacons, we read Keller's book along with our Community Care committe. It was a good way of starting the conversation. 

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