I am one of those guys who has always hated Stewardship Sunday. What is Stewardship Sunday? In my tradition, it is that one Sunday per year when the pastor dedicates both the sermon and every other part of the service to getting us, the parishioners, to commit to supporting the church financially. These poor pastors often play the game of telling us that they want our time and talents as much as our money, but we know the truth…our financial support is the goal.
It is not the plea for support that has always bothered me so much as the typical approach. So many times, the approach on Stewardship Sunday is so law-oriented that I often thought it missed the point. My question was: if I am free in Christ, why do I need to be told to give to my church, which serves me? In deference to all the pastors I’ve held in lousy esteem all these years, the answer is: because there is seemingly just no other way to do it.
So, allow me to do two things in this article. First, I’d like to apologize to all the pastors I’ve held a bad opinion of for not pulling off Stewardship Sunday well. My apology is based on my current belief that there is just really no good way to ask for money on a large scale. It is just no fun, and I should not have held their attempts at creatively asking––even though some were bad––against them. I have been ungracious, and so, I am sorry.
Second, I am now that guy, and so I need to ask you today, on Giving Tuesday, to support 1517 financially. As a donation-based organization, we provide meaningful content in articles, videos, academies, and podcasts, all for free. Even our conferences are highly subsidized by donations. Long story short, without your financial support, we cannot keep doing what we do: declaring and defending the Good News that we are forgiven and free on account of Christ alone.
Today, we have a goal of raising $125,000. Because of this year’s craziness and the hardships that have followed, our yearly giving has been down. But I am confident that you all, our friends and supporters, can make that difference up today.
I will make you one promise today. We at 1517 are utterly committed to keeping the main thing, the main thing. That main thing is handing over the goods that you, yes you, are forgiven and free because of Christ’s death and resurrection. Along the way, we will teach some history, engage in some philosophical discussions, instruct some theology, and encourage and help train in apologetics and evangelism. But the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ Jesus will always be why we exist. Because this proclamation of Good News through Christ Jesus is for others, it is for the world; it is for you.
If the proclamation of that Gospel of Christ through our work at 1517 is important to you, too, please support us financially today. We would love your support as a one-time gift or as a monthly recurring gift. Thank you in advance for listening to my plea, and I hope you will not hold my attempt at creativity against me.
Peace be with you this day and always.