One thing we have never done at Mars Hill Church is take a special offering. However, that will change this Sunday when we take a second offering for the mission of Churches Helping Churches in Haiti.
Many pastors have been contacting us, saying that they too want to take a special offering this Sunday. We rejoice in your willingness to help those who are suffering so greatly. I would like to specifically invite my brothers in Acts 29 and our pastor friends at The Resurgence to do the same.
For those of you who, like us at Mars Hill, have not ever taken a special offering, the following tips were coaching points Pastor James MacDonald gave me on our return flight from Haiti.
Why You Should Take a Special Offering
It is biblical. Galatians 6:10 says, “So then, ?as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” If you want the people in your church to be generous, then be an example for them by being a generous pastor. If your church does not give regularly and generously to such things as mercy ministries and church planting, then it is hypocritical to ask your people to be generous. As ministry leaders, we need to give voice and bring clarity to the tragedies that people are processing through the news. By instructing our people biblically on how we intend to help, and then inviting them to participate at whatever level they are able, we guide them in working to help with what breaks their hearts rather than simply grieving it. God ignites a passion within a leader, who then takes that torch of passion into their church and sets their people aflame for the cause. Simply put, people follow the passion of their leader.
How to Take Your Special Offering
Notify your entire church of the special offering at least a few days before the service. Such thing as email, the church Web site, church blog, and social networking tools (e.g., The City, Facebook, Twitter) should be used to notify people in advance so they come prepared to give generously. Keep your first offering in its usual place. Put your second offering at the end of the service. Begin by inviting the ushers forward and allowing them to stand. This will provide time for people to prepare their offering. Use this opportunity to show multi-media to inform your people. If you like, you are welcome to use any of the photos, videos, blogs, and so on that we have provided at www.ChurchesHelpingChurches.com. When the offering is being taken, it is generally not a time for corporate singing, but rather a time for the performance of a special musical piece while the people are led in prayer by their pastor for the needs in Haiti.
Harvest Bible Chapel gave the firstfruits of the mission of Churches Helping Churches. Their people gave generously and were very joyful at the opportunity to give. As I witnessed their offering, I could see that the Holy Spirit had moved their hearts to give generously and their church leadership served them well by helping them to be obedient to God’s call.
When your church takes its special offering, you can forward the money to www.ChurchesHelpingChurches.com in one of two ways:
You can add up your church’s entire special offering and simply make one contribution through PayPal on the Web site. You can mail one check on behalf of your church to:
Churches Helping Churches
P.O. Box 6558
Elgin, IL 60121-6558
Lastly, we hate that we even need to say this, but in our day it is a legitimate concern. Neither Pastor James MacDonald nor myself will receive any monies from Churches Helping Churches, as we serve in this ministry on a volunteer basis.