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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The offering experience

Offerings glorify God - you get to view your life as a blessing and gift

The offering moment in Christian worship is undergoing a rapid sea change. The advent of online giving, cash and credit card giving kiosks in some churches, less frequent worship attendance than a generation ago, and widespread ignorance about stewardship among newer Christians means some stark new realities. One can be sitting in the 10th row of a full church and see a nearly empty offering plate go by.

"I guess they don't give very much in this church," a surprised guest notes. "It looks like a few people leave small tips."

Paltry offerings in dinky offering plates are a far cry from the fresh eggs, live chickens, bead jewelry and sundry personal items that Christians?in other parts of the world delight in bringing forward. I remember the 15-minute offering "moments" when I lived in Africa. Shocking to many Western believers, there still are Christians who take the offering admonitions in the book of Exodus seriously: "No one shall appear before me empty-handed" (23:15).


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