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Knowledge & News
Thought provoking topics and series, necessary news and information.
We have to begin the pledge drive by acknowledging the long history of spiritual abuse and fiduciary irresponsibility related to money in the church, so that we can clarify our position on a few things, as we unapologetically ask you to give your money to your community.
*Rewards vs Benefits
Let’s remove, from the outset, the supernatural, transactional reward structure called the "prosperity gospel" or "health and wealth gospel". There is no divine obligation to give your money. There is no supernatural reward or blessing for giving money, such that your cash obligates god to bless you, making god a genie, your cash religious currency, and blessings a divine commodity. In a word, Bullshit, we don’t play this game.
Bullshit! We don't play this game.
This being said, there are very real benefits to giving to support Collective, first and foremost, Collective. The other benefit is deeply spiritual. How many of you get stressed about money? How many of you get elated when there’s more money than expected? When there’s enough, when money isn’t a worry, you feel deeply peaceful?
That’s because our relationship to money is deeply spiritual. The emotional experience of stability, security, plenty... enough is connected to our sense of wholeness, wellness, serenity - what the Hebrews call Shalom (peace)
Jesus says where your money is, your heart follows. So we’re asking for your money, but we’re also asking you to invest your heart and life and time and energy in this community because you’re worth it. We’re worth it. DeLand and the world are worth having a community like this.
*Punishment vs Consequence
On the flip side of supernatural rewards and blessings, there will be NO punishments or curses if you don’t give. You’re ok.
There are, however, very real consequences; And more than just having to reduce the budget and limit the the things we can do. Very often religious leaders say one of the most difficult and lonely things about being clergy and staff at churches is that people forget that we’re people.
This year we went from one full time staff to three. This weighs heavily on me because Jess and Caitlin also have to pay bills, and eat, and buy health care, and plan for their future, and make decisions like we all do about wise financial responsibility. Every now and then I get to wear a clergy collar, Caitlin gets to preach and lead, Jess gets to be the glue that holds this community together. That doesn’t mean God pays our bills.
We don't believe threats are inspiring, and fear is no way to sustain a community, so let's forget the punishment stuff. We trust you and believe that being well informed about the cost of not giving is helpful as you consider what you value and how you share your resources.
Every now and then I get to wear a clergy collar, Caitlin gets to preach and lead, Jess gets to be the glue that holds this community together. That doesn’t mean God pays our bills.
*Transaction vs Investment
Transaction is trading currency for goods or services.
A few years ago someone pointed out that she had been viewing giving like "fee for service", transactional, like you pay $10 for a movie, you pay $10 for a church service. Then she realized it was worth much more than that to her, was much more valuable to her and to the community, so she increased her giving by more than 400%. Amazing! She shifted her perspective from transaction to investment.
She’s not just paying for a Sunday service, she’s paying for childcare so new families can come, for students programming so Caitlin can build an intergenerational community among kids, students and adults, paying for keeping up the facility so there can be a school for autistic children, serving west Volusia, for collective cares, for the work we’re doing on racial reconciliation, for conversations about spirituality and social justice, for the Wesley Foundation campus ministry we’re leading at Stetson. Not a once a week transaction, but a much deeper investment with exponential long range impact.
Not a once a week transaction, but a much deeper investment with exponential long range impact.
So, PLEASE GIVE! Don't give for supernatural rewards, but keep in mind the very real benefits. Don't give for fear of punishment, but be mindful of the cost of not giving. Don't give simply to pay for what you consume, transactionally, but because of the good your giving can create and sustain beyond your experience of Collective.
PS - Did you miss the pledge drive kick-off? Catch up HERE
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.