From Guilt to Joy

Anne LaMott makes me laugh. In her recent book, Some Assembly Required, she tells of her hesitancy to go to church on one particular Sunday.

"I went to church crankily because it is stewardship month, and I hate the shakedown sermons, but I had to go because I was teaching Sunday School." 

Anne reminds us that many church members have a natural hesitancy when it comes to their money and the church's efforts to get that money. As congregational leaders we must be creative, persistent and forth right as we teach about generosity. If we do our job well we will see people move from giving because they have to (guilt) to giving because they want to (joy). To see that transformation in individuals is a wonderful thing.

One suggestion for the next sermon or series on giving. Have someone give a testimonial about how they moved from guilt giving to joyful giving. A solid testimony gives hope to the person in the pew that God can change them too. 

By the way, Anne's Sunday at church turned out really well. Sometimes we reap a reward when we simply do what we are supposed to.