Give with Your Hands and Dedicate with Your Heart

Give with Your Hands and Dedicate with Your Heart

Written by Rev. Zheng 5 Nov 2023 Translated by Wu Weijie

          We thank the Lord for the blessing of having our Pastor Mentor Reverend Joseph Tong with us last week. Out of his care for us, Rev. Tong has exhorted us to treat offering with more reverence.

          Before Covid-19, our offertory gifts were collected by offering stewards. These stewards would dress their best, and during the service, pass around the offering bags. Each person would place their offertory gifts into the bags with sobriety. Afterwards, the stewards would step to the front of the sanctuary, holding the bags with both hands, and present the gifts on the pulpit table. Then, the worship leaders would lead the congregations in dedicating the offertory gifts to God through prayer.

          This changed during the pandemic. We switched to online offering so that brothers and sisters can still present their offertory gifts to the house of God. At that time, we taught that offering consists of both giving with your hands and dedicating with your heart. And when we offer online, we must do so with a proper attitude.

          In the past 2 years after the pandemic, brothers and sisters have returned to church to worship together. For this, we give thanks. Yet, we have not reviewed the way we present our offering.

          After deliberating on this, the Exco has decided that from this month (November 2023), the offering box will be placed in front of the sanctuary, on the pulpit table. Brothers and sisters can step forward to place their gifts into the box with joy. This means that our worship service will take longer. It also means that our offering will be more orderly, our participation will encourage and spur others to do likewise. And, most important, our offering will have its rightful place in worship, and be more aligned to the Bible:

          16 Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed: 17 Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.Deut 16:16-17 (NIV)

          No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed. Tithing is the basic responsibility of a saint. It does not excuse you from bringing an offertory gift when you come to meet with God.

          The financial world is moving towards a cashless system. So you can still give your offering online. But if you are not offering a large amount, we encourage you to prepare your gift on Saturday. Then on the Lord’s Day, you can experience the joy of walking up with your fellow saints, holding your gift in your hand, and placing it personally before the Lord as an offering to Him.


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