Church Donation Receipt
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6: 1-4
Matthew 6: 1-4
In the Chakhesang Mission Society (CMS), we discuss how we can coordinate the work between the individuals, local churches, and the Society; particularly in financially supporting mission projects and cross-cultural missionaries. And in the course of interactions with people, we often come across this understanding of mission work. This is not a onetime experience but there seems to be a pattern or an accepted body of knowledge :-). When people give money to mission work, they are fussy about their name and the amount they donate being acknowledged and printed in a report card (Annual tithe report, yearly local mission contribution name list with amount, acknowledgement slip, etc). I attended a meeting yesterday where we are planning to mobilize people to become involved in mission work and to extend financial support. There is need of money. It popped out again as some good old church people grumbled about where this money is going to be printed/acknowledged and reported, through the CMS or local churches?
They already have ‘their’ local church mission projects. Their church is contributing to the CMS. Now about this fund drive, they want to know whether this money will go directly to the Society or through the local churches. Some people said that the Society should have consulted the local churches before going for ‘another’ fund drive. It is true that there are too many taxes and collections from all sections of the society. It is going to become an additional burden. ‘We already have our hands full’, they were indirectly saying.
But looking at the state of our economic positions, the amount that we give to mission work is still meager. And when we say ‘our project’, ‘our missionary’, ‘our mission’, we still hold claim to the amount that we have given to God. We want to share the credit. We want people to know what a good work we are doing. We can feel encouraged if we see that the amount we give is benefitting people in need. Therefore, some people would like to know where their money is going. But if we claim the credit and donate with the motive to receive accolade from people, such people have received their reward and there is none left in heaven for them.
I wonder if churches in other parts of the world report to their members half yearly, how much tithe and mission fund each family/individual had contributed every month. Sadly, the annual report becomes a big issue. It is a moment of pride for some who have contributed much. Some people complain to the treasurer that their contribution is entered wrongly. What is our motive in giving? It doesn’t matter if your name is printed or not. Does it? We should respect our churches' decision to come up with an annual report. But that is not why we should give.