What is a Good Offering?

Next year we will be celebrating 30 years of revival work!  I have preached in small churches and large churches and hundreds that are somewhere in between.  Because we have chosen to live on an expenses-plus-love-offering basis, I have frequently been asked the following question: what is a good love offering?  That is a good question, and a potentially difficult one to answer. In the first place, our needs are met in a variety of ways. Sometimes a smaller church will give a much larger offering than a bigger church.  Sometimes one church is so generous that it “makes up” for other churches that are not able to meet our budgeted needs. Sometimes God just meets our needs in a surprising and miraculous way. I can tell you without reservation, that God’s people have been incredibly good to us.  We are always overwhelmed by how you all have met our needs.  Still, the question remains: What is a good offering?  Here is how I would answer that question:

  1. A good offering is God-lead.

In a special offering, it is always appropriate to pray, “God, what would you have me to give.”  So pray about it.  Ask God to lead your giving.  God knows the need even before we ask (see Matthew 6:8).

  1. A good offering is generous.

“He that soweth bountifully, reaps also bountifully,” is what Paul wrote to the church at Corinth (see 2 Corinthians 9:6).  He goes on to say that this “service” meets the needs of the saints and leads to abundant thanksgiving unto God (verse 12 of the same chapter).  So be crazy generous!  That is a good offering.

  1. A good offering is cheerfully given.

“God loves a cheerful giver,” we are told in 2 Corinthians 9:8.  Paul encouraged them to give, but not to do so “grudgingly” or because “they had to do so.”  God has been very good to all of us. Because we are so generously blessed, we give generously! Because we are so grateful for God’s blessings, we give cheerfully.  The happiest people you will meet are those who give generously and cheerfully! 

  1. A good offering meets the need.

Paul speaks of the church at Philippi as giving “once and again unto my necessity” (Philippians 4:16).  There was a need and the church met that need over and over again. It is a privilege to give and to meet the needs of those who serve in ministry and who have needs as a result.  In fact, Paul writes to the church at Galatia (see Galatians 6:6) that they should “communicate good things” to those who minister.  The implication would be that it is the right thing to do!

  1. A good offering is wisely presented.

Sometimes, we can treat special offerings a bit carelessly.  I have, on occasion, had a pastor joke about my truck or my RV or my nice tie or that it must be nice to be able to “blow in, blow up, and blow out and get paid for it.”  I can laugh and joke with the best of them, but the offering is not the best or wisest place to do so.  Instead, explain the need. Anytime an offering is given, the specifics should be very clear.  Why is it being taken?  For whom (or for what) is the offering being given?  How will the money be used?  Always be honest.  Will part go for food or expenses?  Is the offering going to be given to the evangelist in its entirety or will it just be used to replace the honorarium that has already been decided upon? Ask the congregation to prayerfully consider their giving.  Encourage people to prepare in advance. Remember that many no longer carry cash, so they would either need to visit an ATM, write a check, or even donate via credit card.  It has been my experience, that when a church leader treats the offering with dignity, grace, and joy, it always results in God’s people giving a good offering. 

So there you have it.  In my opinion, a good offering fulfills each of the items above, and, in the process, needs are met and people are blessed!

What do you think? I would love to hear from you.

Your sincere friend,

Dave Young

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s