Can You Be Lighthearted about Money at Church?

Money at church is so often an incredibly serious subject — especially when there isn’t enough of it! This week I was talking with Rev. Dayle Askey, pastor of Creator Lutheran Church in Clackamas, Oregon. Like so many churches, Creator is facing some financial challenges. And, as at many churches, at offering time the plates aren’t very full because most people give monthly, by check. Dayle suggested that people put an additional dollar in the offering plate per member of their family. She said that since they started this a few weeks ago, the ushers have had to walk carefully to bring the plates forward because they have been filled with ones and fives. “It’s playful,” Dayle says. “And it gives people awareness.”

While you can’t solve a budget crunch long-term with ones and fives, being lighthearted about money like this can help people think more creatively about money at church. Creator comes by this naturally: they even have a “fun” link on their home page. In last week’s teleconference, Larry Foster mentioned that Edwin Friedman used to say that anxiety and seriousness were Siamese twins. When we can get less serious, we’ll automatically be less anxious. And that helps us make better decisions.

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