Monday, October 24, 2005

How does your offering get used?

So the other day I had the chance to go to a meeting with the President of our district Rev. C. William Hoesman. He is a great guy I really enjoyed being able to meet with him.

For those of you who don't know the district is a part of the LCMS which helps to facilitate things between churches and the synod. They also help with issues that hit closer to home such as district ministries like campus ministry. There is also some things that they do like help congregations and pastors to work things out if a problem arises. They do not however control the churches or decide what they should be teaching. They are there as a service to the churches.

Anyways the way funding works in the Michigan District. Is that money is given to the church in the collection plate. Then the church takes that money and keeps some of it for its own ministries. It then gives the rest to the district. The district here at least keeps 50%, some keep more some less, and the rest goes on to the synod. So if less money is put into the collection plate then the district has less to fund some of its ministries. This is what is happening in things such as campus ministry. Which I talk about because I am affected by it. Apparently the district budget is shrinking and this is attributed to more giving going directly to certain ministries rather than having the church be a steward of their money. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that the money is all going to the same purpose, sharing the Gospel, just in different ways. The problem lies however in the fact that while some more visible ministries are growing others that are equally as important just not as well known are being left behind so to speak.

In Mount Pleasant I am experiencing what the shortage can do to a ministry that I am involved with. This being campus ministry. No one can deny that it is important but since the district is receiving less money there ability to support these programs is also becoming less. Not because they want it to it's just how things are working right now. So I guess we should remember to keep in mind that the money we put in the collection plate each week is doing a lot more than we sometimes realize.

I really don't know where to go with that other than to explain what was presented to me on what types of things are happening. I would love to hear thoughts that anyone else has on the way that certain ministries are funded by God's people.

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