Monday, September 7, 2009

If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em

Churches rely on donations from their members. In the fall, our church's "Stewardship Committee" (SC) will swarm over us to discuss how much of an increase over our current level of giving we'd be willing to pledge for next year. Needless to say, it's a dreadful time of year.

Last year I got voice mail from one of the SC drones. He wanted me to call him back and let him know when would be a good time for him to stop by and discuss increasing our pledge by 10%. Huh? You mean, not only do we have to give you more money, but we have to break our asses cleaning the house to make it presentable enough for an actual visitor? Whoa.

Actually, it turned out to be not too bad. First, I met him on Sunday between services and asked him if we might not discuss the matter in the office, to which he agreed. And then when it came to actually discussing it, I found he was even more uncomfortable asking for money than I was about being asked. In fact, all he really said to me, apologetically, was "You know what you can give. It's between you and G-d." And with that, a few days worth of anxiety and dread vanished like a startled jack rabbit.

This year I have the ultimate plan to avoid even getting asked about our pledge. I would simply join the stewardship committee1. Isn't that pure elegance?

This new kind of thinking can be applied to all sorts of things we need to avoid. Like Jury Duty. It's easy to get out of jury duty. You can simply be a part of state government. "If elected, I promise not to serve on jury duty." Even easier, you can get convicted of a felony. And actually, a few state officials like to play it safe and do both.

Do cops give out tickets to their fellow cops? Of course not!

Think of all the things you can avoid just by joining in: Insurance Salesmen, Jehovah's Witnesses, Girl Scout cookie drives, fall harvest vegetable giveaways, NPR membership drives. Gosh, I get dizzy thinking about it all.

What do you need to avoid?

1Of course, I'm assuming that the stewardship committee doesn't go around asking its own members for pledges.


Rummuser said...

Merry widows!

Eric the Bolton said...

We tithe 10% of my gross paycheck.. If I work overtime.. The chuch gets 10%.. If I'm sick, the chuch still gets 10%..

The bible says 10% and that's what we do.. we try to give more for the offering when we can.. but we at least do 10% every time.

Square Peg Guy said...

Rummuser, I expect that if you dressed and acted like a Merry Widow, they'd leave you alone in an instant. But we'll have to think of something more drastic to keep away Gail. ;)

Square Peg Guy said...

Hi Eric:

Good for you! We're not at 10% yet, but we do increase about 1% each year. Plus my salary usually increases a tiny bit.

Nobody at the head of our congregation even hinted at "tithe."

Thanks for commenting!