“‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Malachi 3:10-11).
How is it going at your church? By the time you read this article, the COVID-19 pandemic prevention measures are probably becoming your new normal. I assume that many of our churches have now adapted to new ways of worshiping our risen Savior. Most likely you are meeting via some type of social media or video streaming service.
As I was listening to one of our CLB churches recently, I learned that during this time they have almost doubled their following! Could this be one of the many blessings that are going to come out of this terrible pandemic?
How has your church been able to meet your obligations? Are your offerings continuing week to week as you work to determine how best to support your church, while possibly dealing with unemployment? How can you give to your church when you’re not meeting in person and passing the offering plate? There are so many questions when it comes to supporting our mission in this environment! As the Director of Finance of the CLB, I ask that all our readers be sure to take care of your churches. The churches of the CLB are the backbone of our mission. Your church needs your tithe. If you’re unsure how to tithe, ask your church how you can continue to give, resting in the promises in Malachi, that the Lord will pour down a blessing upon you as you give. If, as you give to your local church as the Lord leads, you find there is more yet that he gives you, would you think also of the CLB?
Here at the CLB, April was our last month of the fiscal year. We needed $615,000 to meet our budget for the fiscal year. As Mission Directors, we have sought the Lord to lead us and lead you in your own April budgets. Now as you read this, those days are past. So, as we look ahead into the coming months as this pandemic continues, we pray that it will diminish and leave us. So, we urge you again, please continue to support the work of your local church. Many of our churches support the CLB through their local giving, and many individuals support us above that level. However you are called to support the CLB, we so appreciate that support.
As I close, Joshua 1:9 is a Scripture passage that I have shared frequently and grown to better understand: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” I’m sure that during this pandemic many of us can admit that we are afraid—afraid for our families, our church friends—even to the place of discouragement. But we have this promise, that our Lord will go with us and will assist us in being strong. Take care and stay safe.
LaWayne Rogness is Director of Finance and Personnel for the Church of the Lutheran Brethren.