Updated: Nov 15, 2018
My travels over the past two weeks have enabled me to visit two churches. Both coincidentally called The Crossing. The first in a suburb of Las Vegas is pastored by Shane Philip who gave one of the best messages on tithing that I've ever heard.
The key point in his talk was that we don't OWN anything but are merely managers of the resources that God has entrusted to us.
To dramatically emphasis this point, each adult was handed an envelope upon entering the service and advised to open it only when told to do so. Towards the end of the message Pastor Philip instructed everyone in the congregation to open the envelope they’d been given and in each envelop they found a dollar bill.
The pastor made the point that the money (some $5,000 which was handed out that weekend across all the services) was from him and not the church. He then instructed his parishioners to keep the dollar for a week and then to bring back the dollar the following weekend and return it to him.
His point was that we are managers of the resources that have been entrusted to us by God and this exercise was designed to help everyone feel the responsibility of being in trusted with resources (one dollar in this instance) for a week.
As the message concluded I was struck by the feeling of the responsibility that had been entrusted to me not just by the pastor but by the Holy Spirit to be a steward of His creation. If you’re interested in listening to the entire message the link below will take you to it.
This past weekend while in the Orlando area I attend yet another church called The Crossing, pastored by Ron Tewson who I met initially in 1971 while touring with the Continental Singers.
Pastor Tewson was beginning a series on the connection between Faith and Doubt and how the two seemingly polar opposite concepts are in fact interdependent. One of the key points he made in what was a very refreshing message was that doubt or at least healthy skepticism is often the catalyst for exploring one's faith. Doubt, in fact, can become the agent for helping us determine and arrive at our core convictions i.e., what we'd take a bullet for.
If you’d like to listen to the message in its entirety the link below will take you there.
After "crossing" the country this month, I couldn't help but be struck by messages from two churches with the same name that so effectively struck my heart on two subjects at the core of our being: why we believe what we believe; and what our responsibility is to be stewards of the resources with which we've been entrusted.