Central Baptist Church of Southington Connecticut


Receiving Gracefully

  • Jim Townsley
  • Jan 12, 2015
Although there are many difficult struggles in the ministry there are also countless special blessings. Every church has its givers and takers. The takers demand attention, but we must be careful not to overlook the blessings provided by the givers. The givers will perform many acts of kindness for the preacher and his family and these acts of kindness should be acknowledged either privately or publicly by the preacher.
Receiving gifts for serving the Lord may seem unmerited and unnecessary, yet members of the church are learning of the blessing found by giving. The Bible is clear concerning the blessing of giving. ". . .  and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." - - Acts 20:35  To deny people the opportunity of giving is to deny them the blessings found from giving. By refusing a gift you may deny someone a blessing. Therefore, it is important to learn to receive gracefully.
Once a church planter realizes there will be many occasions where Christians demonstrate generosity he must guard against greed. Never should a gift be expected or anticipated. A man of God must realize that God will provide for his needs and he must not stoop to manipulating the minds of people or to play on their emotions to obtain money from them. Missionaries are especially vulnerable to this tendency, because they are always asking for support to get to their field. God uses people to provide the missionary's needs, but it must be remembered that ultimately it is God who supplies our needs. However, when help comes it must be received gracefully and humbly.
Also, a pastor and his family must learn to give to the needs of others. The pastor should set the example of tithing and giving toward the needs of the church. Helping someone in need should also be a characteristic of every preacher. The Bible is explicit about our giving. "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." -- Luke 6:38  The blessing of giving should be exemplified by the preacher and his family. Be attentive to the needs of others.
There will, from time to time, be instances where a need is met in a miraculous way. Perhaps God used someone in the church to meet that need. It is important to acknowledge the gift and the answer to prayer, but if it was given anonymously it must remain anonymous. Revealing the giver could possibly make them a target for others to try to get something from them. Sadly, but true, there are some in the church who are takers and would stoop to dishonest tactics in an effort to receive something from those who have given sacrificially. Therefore, it is important to conceal their identity.
Perhaps the most humbling aspect of receiving a gift from a church member is very often the one who gives has limited means to do so.  Yet, they have a giving spirit and to deny them the privilege of giving would deny them a blessing. No matter how small or large the gift received each one should be recognized equally, as it has been done as to the Lord. Thank God there are many givers in our ministries that provide special blessings from the Lord. May God help us all learn the proper way to give and receive!