No one appreciates a guilt trip whether they are deserved or not. We have all received our share of these excursions from family, in the workplace or it could even be an unintended consequence of church membership and participation. I am a firm believer that guilt is a very temporary motivator and a most unsatisfying way to fulfill any task. In church activities we are hopefully motivated by none other than the The Holy Spirit, who makes us aware of needs around us and our responsibilities as followers of Christ.
So with this being addressed, I would like to address a needed explanation of some of our newsletter information pieces which are not intended to guilt us into ministry but to make us aware of obligations, opportunities, fundraisers and our priority as followers:
Obligations …. Those things which we are committed to without a lot of options. In Gaffanese, my personal English dialect this is stated as …”the stuff we gotta do”. Examples of the obligatory would be the new building loan and the general fund of PSBC. It is a fact that if we fail to repay the loan our church house could become a furniture outlet, a museum or a new airport runway and furthermore if we fail to give our regular tithes and offerings we could be holding services in cold or hot rooms and sanctuary (depending on the season) and all our materials for Sunday school and worship created by hand by those we would designate as our Poplar Springs Monks responsible for transcribing all of our literary materials. We must fulfill our obligations.
Opportunities…. These items are placed in your newsletter to make you aware of people, places, and circumstances where you may be called to assist. These are situations where you may sense the call of God to do some work in his name. Mark Wakefield is doing great work in Guatemala and we want you to know about it and you may want to help. Our own Ron Allen and his family are planting a church in High Point, NC. Keith Dixon works with our Baptist Retirement Homes informing churches of their ministry and securing housing for older adults. David Brown at the Shelby Mission Camp has a tremendous backlog of local ministries that need to be performed and Michael Gullatte and his crew are doing a tremendous job of ministering to our homeless and poverty stricken population. You need to know these things and you may want to assist. You are informed not to expedite your processing in pursuit of a complimentary ticket on Guilt Trip Tours, but to let you know where you can assist. But please understand …you do not have the money or time to do it all. Relax, pray and see what God wants you to do.
Fundraisers….. These are self-explanatory. These are the provision of goods or services for a donation or suggested fee in order to secure monetary support for a particular endeavor. Fundraisers are monitored and approved by the church council. A couple of weeks ago many of you had a great Sunday Soup Lunch and you may or may not have paid for it. If you did, you supported a group from our church that will be singing in Carnegie Hall. In December, many of you will be touring homes in our community for a fee. You purchased a ticket to enter the homes of a number of families and individuals legally and the money collected will go toward the debt on the Cornerstone Building. You are not required to attend nor allocate your personal funds toward these events.
These obligations, opportunities, and fundraisers are a part of what I will call the priority of all followers of Christ found in Matthew 6:33. This passage was the text for my sermon a couple of weeks ago. SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD. That’s our motivation.