I was chatting with an Elim member recently about his giving to Elim -- how he gives, what it means to him, that kind of thing. Here's how it goes . . . The member gets paid electronically every two weeks, on Fridays. When he gets home from work, he records his paycheck amount in his personal register. Then, the very first thing he does is write out a check to Elim. He then places the check in an envelope and puts the envelope right next to the bananas on the kitchen counter, where it sits until Sunday morning, when it is brought to church and placed in the offering plate. So if you smell bananas the next time the plate passes through your pew, you'll know why.
The key here, of course, is not the bananas, but the giving to God first -- before any other bills are paid. He mentioned a couple of other keys: The amount he gives is always a percentage of his salary (gross not net), and there is never any delay in writing this check. He has found this system to be rewarding and effective, and said he considers it a blessing to be able to give to God and to fund Elim's many ministries.
For some, the physical act of placing the envelope in the offering plate is a meaningful experience, a weekly ritual of thanks to God for all he has provided. For others, an automatic payment sent electronically works best (more on that topic in our next post). What's your routine, and how are you blessed by it?
- Phil Sorensen, member of Elim's Stewardship Team