11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem[f] will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. II Cor. 9:11-13
Tuesday we took our Youth Group to Cedar Point. As usual, it was an awesome time! As I’ve mentioned several times every time I go somewhere with large throngs of people, I love to people watch and dream. I saw thousands of people enjoying Cedar Point and I got to thinking… They all came to have an “experience of a lifetime” riding all the thrilling rides Cedar Point offers. They had no problem paying hundreds of dollars for their families to come to the park to enjoy the rides that last less than 1 minute. I started looking into the cost of these Minute and a half joy rides:
The Cost of Building the Millennium Force – $25 Million
The Cost of Building the Top Thrill Dragster – $25 Million
The Cost of Building The Maverick – $21 Million
It’s estimated that Cedar Point has spend for $120 million building rides since 2000. Yet, I’ve never heard anyone complain about Cedar Point spending too much money to build rides. I never hear anyony tell Cedar Point that all that money could be given to the poor.
But, as soon as the church starts spending millions to build a new building, start a new program, and do stuff for people, people go crazy. “The church just wants my money” “The pastor just wants my money” “They could be giving all that money to the poor”. Here is just a few thoughts I have about money, giving, and the church: –
- The Result of Us Giving and the Church having Money is Changed Lives – I’ve never heard of anyone whose life was changed forever cause they went to an amusement park. Can you put a price on someones life turning around forever? A restored marriage? Getting purpose? Developing a relationship with God? Without money Cedar Point could not provide the experience they do, without money, the church can not provide the change that they need to.
- You Choose Where You go to Church – The reason most people complain about giving and how churches use their money is because they have been in a church that has not managed their money well. You choose where you go to church, I wouldn’t settle for anything less than going to a church that uses their money wisely to reach people. How do you know if they do or not? Look to see if lives are being changed on a continual basis.
- Receiving is Overestimated, Giving is Underestimated – I promise you’ll get no greater joy in your life than when you give of your time, talent, and money. I’ve never met anyone who tithes and gives offerings consistently that has ever complained about it.
- There is so Much Money in the World – I think it’s easy to think that there is a shortage of money in the world, but that is not true at all. In fact, there is a ton of money in the world. Watch Cribs, go to Beveryly Hills, go to Qatar… you’ll see there is no lack of wealth in the world.
- A “Whatever it Cost” Mentality – Cedar Point never thinks about what its going to cost to build a top-quality ride. Why? Because people will love it and it will get paid for because of that. We need to adopt the same mentality… We should never think about what it costs to reach people. As people get their lives changed, they’ll start to give in order for others to have their lives changed. We need to reach people no matter what it costs.
- Everybody Wants Your Money – Cedar Point wants your money, Nike, Giant Eagle, Banana Republic, etc. above the church wanting your money, God wants your money. It’s all over scripture and the church is the God’s tool to use to reach the world. The purpose of God and the church having your money is to change peoples lives. So, if peoples lives are getting changed, I’ll never scoff at the price.
The Bible says where your money is, your heart is.If you were to look at your checkbook and see where you’ve been spending your money, my question to you is, are peoples lives getting changed as a result of where you give your money? If not, you’re missing out on one of the greatest joys you can experience. Being involved in changing a life…
Long post… have a lot of this on my heart and so much more… but I’ll save it for later..Thoughts?