Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Offering Plate

I don't usually do this, but this article is just beautiful and  . . . radical.  It comes from Wade Burleson who pastors Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma.   You can hear his sermons each week at EChurch at the The Wartburg Watch blog.  

Emmanuel Enid receives offerings in our four morning worship services the old fashioned way - we pass plates. Since coming as pastor of Emmanuel in 1992, it has been our standard practice to invite people in the auditorium to either give to the offering or receive from the offering. When we pass the plates we encourage those in financial need to take from the offering if they have need. We only ask that they take the cash and leave the checks and the envelopes because those are checks made to Emmanuel, and they couldn't  cash them anyway. We also typically announce that if there is not enough cash in the plate to meet their need, they can see us after the service and we will see what we can do to help them financially. There are no restrictions. Members and guests are invited to take from the offering plate. Money can be taken by the same person every week for fifty-two weeks. We mean what we say, and we have many stories of people who have been helped through our offering, sometimes in surprising fashions. One young lady who was in college stopped me one Sunday with tears in her eyes. She was an only child. Her only surviving parent and grandparent, her father, was dying of cancer. . . . . . . . . please enjoy the rest of the story here.  

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/landerholm/6859392170/">k.landerholm</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>


  1. Julie Anne,

    Thank you so much for linking to Pastor Wade Burleson's uplifting Thanksgiving article and his sermons at EChurch @ Wartburg Watch.

    Very encouraging to hear from a pastor like this who trusts the Lord and models faith for his flock instead of ruling them with a heavy hand or having a year end panic about meeting budget. They trust the Lord and are willing to adjust the budget to whatever comes in.(Most Christians give to help others, trust the Lord and adjust budgets. Finally - a church that does the same!)

    The pastors you've linked to on your blog have helped renew my faith and trust in the Lord. Without your blog I wouldn't have heard of them, or about Dee and Deb's Wartburg Watch E-Church.

    With Gratefulness and Prayers for a Blessed Thanksgiving for you and your family, NAR

    1. Thank you so much, NAR for your kind words. There have been many blessings in being sued. One huge one is the many connections and friends I have made. Wade, Dee, and Deb are the same "behind the scenes" as you see on their blogs and comments. They are the real deal and have been such a blessing to me. I have seen Christ through them and they have encouraged my faith.

      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. Wow......that was a wonderful and inspiring read. :-)

  3. What a nice positive blog at this special time of the year. It brought me to tears (in a positive way). I see so much negative stuff everywhere.

    I was so glad to read of a church that does things a little different with their offering. I have heard of this happening, but never have known of any church actually doing it. (I've also heard of UFOs but never seen one. lol)

    I would like to see that story published in the Reader's Digest.

    IMHO, this is more the way Jesus would have done things when he was on earth. Gotta make sure to say IMHO. Don't want to be sued by J.C. / lol

    1. Sheep-Dog - You are right - this would be a great article for Reader's Digest. Someone should submit it on behalf of Wade. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Sheep-Dog. I've appreciated getting to know you these past months.

  4. Julie Anne,
    Thanks for this and for all the good work you do. I've been too busy to engage lately but have still very much appreciated your insights and thoughtfulness as well as those of Brad. Have a day of Thanksgiving as you and your family enjoy the Giver of all good gifts.

    1. Hi Craig - Thanks so much for checking in. Hope you and Kelly and family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Please say hi to Kelly for me. We have a number of guests coming up from Portland so we will be sure to thank God for them and His many gifts.


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