I read this story on a Pastors Blog recently that was written by Don Linscott on why he is glad his church needs money. Talk about perspective. Wow. This story is a powerful tool that reminds us why we give, our motives behind giving and why it’s worth it.
Here is his story:
On July 23, 1970, my wife, Connie, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. For three years we had tried unsuccessfully to start a family so our joy was great with the arrival of what was to be our only biological child. We later adopted a daughter. Lance was born before it became acceptable for the father to be present in the delivery room. (A fact for which I have ever been grateful!)
I waited in the hallway just outside the delivery room. At precisely 4:13 p.m., I heard a sound I will never forget, Lance’s first cry. The nurse emerged with a smile and said, “You have a baby boy.”
I casually responded, “Yes, I know.” I had never doubted we would have a son. I could hardly wait to get Connie and Lance out of the hospital and back home so I could get my hands on them.
The wonderful glow of fatherhood was soon dimmed, however, when I was asked to visit the business office of the hospital. They wanted me to pay for Lance! In fact, it seemed to me that my wife and child might be held hostage until the hospital bill was settled. I wrote the check paying all the expenses in full, freed my family, and we made our escape. That check turned out to be only the first of hundreds, maybe thousands, I would write on Lance’s behalf.
Children are expensive. There was formula and food to buy. Doctor visits and vaccinations assaulted my banking account. Diapers and toys took their toll. And clothes were a constant drain. Just about the time we built a great wardrobe for the kid, he would grow, forcing us to start all over again.
As his age and size increased so did the expenses. Soon it was baseball gloves, Nike shoes and uniforms. There were glasses for his eyes and braces for his teeth. And then, disaster struck.
Lance became a teenager! Now it was cars and dates and name-brand clothes. Then came college. Lance had always, and only, wanted to be an architect. It seemed to me he would be in school until he was forty-two years old. Expenses soared! Tuition, books, and drawing tools led the long list of essential expenditures. But, of course, just like parents everywhere, we were happy to be able to help him and we did all we could to support his growth and his dreams.
And then, one day, Lance died.
On Halloween Day, 1991, we buried twenty-one-year-old Lance in our church’s country cemetery. That afternoon we walked away from his grave and since that day we have never spent another nickel on Lance.
That’s how I learned it.
Death is cheap. Death can be sustained without expense. It is living that is costly. It is growth that is expensive. Our dreams, visions, and hopes require sacrifice. Death doesn’t!
That’s why I will always belong to a church that needs money.
A living, growing, thriving church will always require the continual, consistent, and conscientious financial support of its members. Life is worth it. That’s the kind of church I want to be a part of.