Help Me Out! What's the Future of the Offering Plate?
Far out sideburns and kerchiefs!
I ask that you go with me now to a time and place far, far away. Yes, that would be 1969 – the “Summer of Love” and that one-hit wonder - six-weeks at #1 – by Zager and Evans (you remember them, don’t you?), “In the Year 2525.”
Relive those lyrics with me if you will (and sing along) - “In the year 2525, if man is still alive, if woman can survive, they may find…” - and then it skips to the year 3535. I am in suspense. What will they find? Curse you Zager and Evans! I’ll never know what happens in 2525!
As you ponder that great mystery, here’s another one: What do you think is the future of the offering plate during worship?
With all the hullaballoo about a woman being on the ten-dollar bill in 2020, a comedienne (forgive me, I can’t remember which one) said something to the effect – “Great, we’ll get our face on money just when everyone stops using it.” While many people think that paper money will still have a place in our economy, others see its demise. What is apparent: more and more people are carrying less and less cash.
In “5 Banking Services that will be Obsolete in 10 Years,” #2 – right after “In-Branch Services” – is “Check Writing and Cashing.” The article was written in 2014 – so friends that means by 2024 checks will most likely be gone.
What’s a church to do? And that is my question to you. In the year 2025 what do you think will become of the traditional offering plate? How will our “giving of our tithes and offerings” be done – or will that piece of the worship service be cut out altogether? Will we ever get to sing the doxology? More important: Can we be ahead of the curve on this one?
Here’s your homework: Tell me what you think the future of the offering plate will be in the next ten years and how you will respond. Make it simple. Make it fun. Send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll post a variety of your answers.
Now get groovy and sing along with Zager and Evans…and get your futuristic and creative juices flowing.
Postscript – It’s hard to believe that we have had yet another horrific shooting in this country. At the end of 2012 I wrote about Newtown. And here we are again. We can respond. We can be generous in the face of grief. Check out The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Or consider sending a contribution to Emanuel African Methodist Church to support their ongoing work. Or give to the Southern Poverty Law Center whose byline is “Fighting Hate. Teaching Tolerance. Seeking Justice.” We are not powerless.
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2.5 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She thinks that in the year 2525 Zager and Evans will have their next hit. She served as the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation; she is available to consult with churches in Oregon and Idaho. You can reach her at email@example.com.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.