There’s a book out there called, The Question Behind the Question. The point is, there is always something going on behind the obvious. Even when a person asks a question, there are all sorts of things lurking nearby that, unfortunately, often went unsaid. And if you can address those lurking, unspoken questions, you are well on your way to success.
Now, you may have noticed our budget is not doing great right now. Normally, churches respond to such news with a big push (a fundraising campaign, a stewardship sermon series, a thermometer in the sanctuary and things like that). We’ve chosen not to do any of those things. Instead, I have chosen to write a series of blog entries on giving. “Ah-ha!” you say. “You are nothing but a weasel. You say you aren’t going to do a stewardship drive, but here it is! It’s just on the website and not on Sunday morning. But it is still the same thing! Lewis, you are a weasel of the first order!”
My weaselness aside, my intent here is not for these blog entries to be perceived as any type of a stewardship campaign (whether disguised or right out in the open). Yes, I know; “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, chances are pretty good that it is a duck.” But I want to assure you, in this case, it’s not a duck. The question I want to address is not, “How can we get people to give more?” That’s a stewardship campaign question. The questions I want to address are, “Why aren’t we doing a stewardship campaign?” “Why aren’t we making a big marketing push?” “Why aren’t we doing more things to raise funds for our church?” The question I honestly want to answer is: “What is a biblical philosophy of giving?” I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t a biblical philosophy of giving just for people to give?” Actually, no. A biblical philosophy of giving is much more complicated and much more surprising.
So, let me recap. Yes, I am probably a weasel, but not for anything related to these blogs. No, this isn’t a stewardship campaign disguised as a modest blog. Yes, stewardship campaigns (especially with lots of guilt and big thermometers) are both, in my opinion, ill-advised and misguided. No, there is no such thing as an anti-stewardship campaign, but this is (at least, in my opinion) as close as you can get. Yes, I think you will be surprised by the answers given in these blogs. No, I am not going to give you the bullet points. Yes, you’re going to have to read all ten