God is generous and so he calls us to be as well. What we do with what God has given us shows the world where our hearts are at and helps proclaim the gospel. We want to glorify God with every area of our lives, and that includes what we do with our finances.
One thing you may notice is that we don’t pass a plate for collections. In fact, we almost never talk about money at Riverside. Why? Because the number one excuse people give when asked why they won’t go to church is, “all they care about it my money!”
Well, at Riverside we take that objection right off the table. It’s just another way we do church “different”. You see, we think it’s a tragedy that people have been given the impression that all God (and the church) cares about is people’s money. We don't want to perpetuate that myth... even if that means we take in fewer dollars every week. Passing a plate might increase our budget but we figure if we‟re asking you to trust God with your finances we should be willing to do the same with ours.
So you won’t see a collection plate. You won’t hear a 10 minute sermonette where we pressure you to pony up or face the wrath (and the scowls) of the church ladies sitting all around you (we’ve noticed not all “church ladies” are chicks- some of them are dudes ;0). We only want you to give if you want to. The Bible puts it this way:
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
So fear not the offering plate… at least at Riverside. You’ll only hear us talk about money a couple of times a year when it falls naturally within a lesson series that we’re doing (the Bible does talk A LOT about how we handle our money so it’s unavoidable) but other than that, you can relax.
Now does that mean we don’t need money at Riverside? No. It doesn’t. We are an independent, non denominational church. That means we don’t get money flowing in from outside sources. All the ministries of Riverside are made possible only because of the generous donations of people who believe in what we are doing and are partnering with us to make a difference in Eagle River.
In fact we give this disclaimer:
If you think all Riverside is concerned with is separating you from your cash, and you don’t trust us, then don’t give to us (did you hear that? That was the sound of our treasurer passing out when she read those words ;0)
But seriously, if you don’t trust us, then don’t give to us. But don’t let that keep you from finding some deserving ministry that is doing God’s work and blessing your community or the less fortunate in the world, and giving to them. You being generous with the money God has entrusted to you is a HUGE part of learning what it means to thrive in the life that Jesus dreamed of you living when He created you.
So be generous and thrive!