My church has a great tradition that started before I arrived, in fact, I think it came from the mother church that planted us back in 1996. Every October we receive a Praise Offering and have a special Praise Sunday. This is a Sunday dedicated to Praise. We read Praise Psalms. We wrote praises on large posters on the side of the room. We sang praise songs. And took up a Praise Offering that was over and above our regular tithes and offerings each week or month. All this was followed by a great lunch together!
Our Praise Offering this Sunday brought in $15739.60, that’s about 11% or 12% of our total budget in one Sunday!! (and people can still add to that total over the next few weeks if they want) But our hope is not to need any of it for our General Fund Budget. We want to give at least a tithe (ten percent) of the Offering to something outside of ourselves. Here is how we are designating it:
- $850 goes to sponsor a nursing student in Africa who is going to use her training to move to an unreached part of her country
- $2000 will be given to a church plant we are part of. They had their first public service this past Sunday.
- $2000 will be set aside to find ways to “love on” our community or people in our community over the next year
- We will use what we need to cover Budget shortfall as there often is as we get to the end of the year
- The remainder will be put in our Building Project Fund
Everyone is always excited when those counting the money bring the little post-it-note with the total to me and I announce it as they are finishing up their lunch. This year again, there was great Praise even in the result of the Praise Offering.