Pledging with Purpose

Pledge Drive Update:
Thanks to all the folks who responded so well to my “on the road the day before Thanksgiving” phone calls reminding previous years’ pledgers that we would hope to see them participate again. Though I’ve only “followed up” with folks who have pledged in the past, the invitation is open for all to make a pledge for the first time. We have 5 new participants who have taken that invitation, including my own son, who seems to have decided on quite an optimistic double tithe of his allowance. What was that Jesus said about a child-like faith?! Pledges range from $50 to $20,000, so any figure is an appropriate amount to begin pledging to grow toward a tithe—the point is that it turns giving to the church into an accountable act of discipleship, as James Madere said so well in his testimony. And, as is printed on our giving statements, “the only benefits provided are intangible religious services.” I like the way Karen has phrased that—it diverges from the standard tax line “no goods or services were provided,” to speak to the truth that there is an intangible religious reward that comes from giving in accountability.
Our total tally is now 56 pledges for $202,014. Of that total, 6 pledges are between $9k-$20k, 6 pledges are between $5,000 and $6000, 11 pledges are between $2500 and $4999, 25 pledges are between $1000-$2499, and 8 pledges are between $50-$999. What does that “spread” tell us? As I mentioned above, it shows that as James said in October, “you don’t have to be a big earner in order to make a pledge.” Some are giving from very meager and/or fixed resources, and this is to be lauded, as Jesus lauded the widow who gave what she could at the Temple treasury. (Mark 12:41) Some are giving very generously, and without seeing W-2s, (as I know a Pentecostal church in Little Rock requires of its members!) I would say that some are even tithing, meaning they are giving ten percent of their income, as Jesus asks us to do. Whether or not that is the case for you right now, I do know that participating in a pledge to the church does help in growing toward a tithe, as it teaches us to give from our “first fruits” and to give with intentionality and planning. I hope that University United Methodist is a place where you may learn the joy and privilege of giving.