The Great $5 Giveaway

So I’m at Ryan’s baseball practice, thus this is being typed out on the iPhone.

Yesterday was an awesome day at Compass, because we handed out $5 bills to everyone in attendance. Hey, when was the last time you went to church and they actually gave YOU money!

But what we said was, the money is yours, but it’s not yours to keep; it’s yours to give. Find someone, preferably a stranger, and bless them by buying their coffee, lunch, or some other random act of grace.

Why would our church give out what amounts to several thousand dollars of its money to be given to total strangers?

Because we are called to represent God, and God, at his core, is generous.

I heard one story of a woman in our church who pulled next to another car in a drive-thru where the driver got irritated with her. Apparently they arrived at the same time to the line and she got in first. So she bought him lunch with her $5 (and probably a little more!). Apparently when the guy found out he started waving to her and smiling. How awesome is that?

There are other stories on the Compass Church Goodyear Facebook page, so go check that out.

I quoted yesterday E.G. Berkower, who said, “The essence I theology is grace; the essence of ethics is gratitude.” I added: the essence of mission is generosity.

Why? Because we are never more like God than when we are generous.

But in an attempt to bother some people, I ran Berkower’s quote through the lens of atheism. It goes like this:

“The essence of atheism is nothing; the essence of atheist ethics is cynicism; and the essence of atheistic mission is scarcity.” What I should have said, however, was that the essence of atheistic mission is self.

This to me is as clear and as rational as it gets. If I were an atheist I would have no moral obligation to be generous. In fact, it would be stupid to be anything but completely self-driven.

I only bring this up because it is all the more reason why Christians must, in this current economy and culture, be committed to generosity.

There is a kingdom coming, and breaking through right now. The kingdom of God is ruled by a generous God with limitless resources.

So, if you were at Compass this past Sunday, what are you going to do with your $5? Let the Spirit lead you as you look for someone to bless, and then tell us your experience. Post it on the Facebook page or email us at stories@compasschurch.info.

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4 thoughts on “The Great $5 Giveaway

  1. “If I were an atheist I would have no moral obligation to be generous. In fact, it would be stupid to be anything but completely self-driven.”

    Then you, forgive me, would be ignorant.

    Being generous, besides just feeling good, also helps encourage a generous culture that you may benefit from somewhere down the road.

    • Hey NotAScientist –

      Thanks for your comment. Actually, you made my point by listing your reasons for generosity – a good feeling inside and receiving the benefits of participating in a generous culture. Both of those come back, ultimately, to the self. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that – in fact, I’m glad you feel that way.

      However, what I said is that you have no moral obligation to be generous. That means you have no transcendent reason, outside of what ultimately benefits you, to give what you could keep as your own.

      As a Christian, I am called to have my actions represent those of the generous God that I believe in, regardless of how it might positively or adversely affect me. You, however, are free from that worldview, and are able to live solely in the pursuit of self.

      Blessings,

      Tim

      • “That means you have no transcendent reason, outside of what ultimately benefits you, to give what you could keep as your own. ”

        Then you and I don’t really agree what ‘moral obligation’ means.

        “You, however, are free from that worldview, and are able to live solely in the pursuit of self.”

        Everyone is free to do this. I choose to live for myself, my family, and my friends. Because it makes me happy, and them happy.

  2. Such a great practice in generosity! I’ve always loved what you say about being like God when we give…so true!! He is so ridiculously generous to me that I want to do the same for others–even at my own expense (OFTEN at my own expense!). I can’t wait to hear about how this ripples out….I love Compass!

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