This upcoming Sunday will be the first Sunday that we collect an offering at mosaic during the worship service. Up to this point we have chosen to leave this aspect out of our service and only give people the opportunity to give by placing a box at the entrance.
The largest factor in determining this decision is the following: We believe we are failing in teaching new believers that giving of their resources is a part of their walk with Christ.
It is less awkward to remind them weekly through implementing the passing of buckets (plates, baskets, whatever) during worship than to say "don't forget to walk over to the box where everyone can see you and give something."
Here are some questions and answers that we have worked through in making this decision.
Q: Will taking up the offering during the service cause those who are unchurched to be uncomfortable?
A: There are a few that may not like it, but most people who do not go to Church have gotten past that when they decide to attend a service. Plus we will let them know that they are not expected to give.
Q: Aren't offerings supposed to be given and not taken?
A: However you do your offering they have to be taken, unless you just leave the money sitting there. Also Paul referred to the collecting of money in 1 Corinthians 16
Q: Isn't it better to give while no one's looking?
A: Yeah, we don't give to be seen. People may see you give during the offering time, people may also see you give at the box in the back. Just don't worry about them. Focus on God.
Q: Are we doing this so we will have more money?
A: Actually, our finances have increased drastically recently so we are not to worried about that. God will take care of us. However, the more people who are giving (with the right heart) the more we are equipping people to live life to the fullest.
Q: Won't some people give out of guilt?
A: We hope not. We hope people don't do anything for the wrong reason. Some probably will, just like some probably do now.