What the Heck is Water?
As you I hope you've noticed, we’re making a push to be more intentional about our stewardship at the church, especially giving to support the operating budget.
I’m well aware that giving to the budget is not the most exciting place to direct our resources. It reminds me of a story I heard about two fish who were swimming along one day when an older fish swam by them and said, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” They shrugged and kept swimming until one fish turned to the other and said, “What the heck is water?”
The operating budget is kind of like the church’s water. It supports so much of what we do here that at times we take it for granted. Everything from the light bill to staff salaries, Sunday school curriculum to childcare, VBS to postage, instrumentalists in worship to fresh flowers in the parking lot—all are supported by the budget. So is most of our missions giving. Did you know that 11% of all contributions go to support partners such as CBF, CBF of Georgia, New Baptist Covenant, Baptist Women in Ministry, Daybreak, and many more?
You can read more on here about our “mini-campaign” to challenge each other to meet out giving goals to the budget for the year, and I hope you’ll participate. But I also hope we’ll use this as a mid-year check-in to consider our stewardship habits more broadly.
- If you don’t currently give, make it your goal to start this year. Don’t get hung up on tithing—make giving 10% a goal to work up to. Start with a percentage you’re comfortable with, and do your best to stick to it.
- If you already give occasionally, make it your goal to give regularly. Consider setting up an automated draft from your bank. Audrey and I have been doing this for years and love it—don’t worry, it’s not cheating! Or try our new online giving platform available on the church website. (More on that to follow!)
- If you already give regularly, make it a goal to give more this year than you did the year before. Maybe it’s 1/2%, 1%, or something even more scandalous—the increment isn’t as important as the trend.
- If your situation has changed in the past year and you’re unable to give as you have in the past, give what you can, and feel good about it. Giving is an act of community and Scripture is filled with examples of God taking small gifts and doing miraculous things with it.
Generous, consistent giving to support the operations of a church—even a church we care deeply for—doesn’t come naturally. It’s a spiritual discipline that we learn, and hope to grow into with time. But when we do, we discover that it’s deeply rewarding to support what God is doing through a particular place and people. Or to keep with our image, to know that you’re adding to the waters that sustain life for you and so many others.