"Mega Church"

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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby bn2bnude » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:04 pm

jasenj1 wrote:We give electronically. Auto-pay from our bank to the church when the paycheck comes in. Plate passes right by us every week. :D

And we can give online using a credit card. If our card pays us 1% back, would tithing with it & getting the kick back from the credit card company be wrong? Should we tithe extra to cover the kick back? :P


- Jasen.


The down side to using a card is the cost to the receiver. A credit card usual costs somewhere between 4% and 6% for the transaction.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby prairieboy » Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:47 am

jasenj1 wrote:We give electronically. Auto-pay from our bank to the church when the paycheck comes in. Plate passes right by us every week. :D

And we can give online using a credit card. If our card pays us 1% back, would tithing with it & getting the kick back from the credit card company be wrong? Should we tithe extra to cover the kick back? :P


- Jasen.


If I gave electronically I would hardly notice that I was giving. Therefore I would miss out on much of the joy of giving.
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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby Petros » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:00 am

"The down side to using a card is the cost to the receiver. A credit card usual costs somewhere between 4% and 6% for the transaction."

Do debit cards [vocally preferred by a pastor of our acqauaintance] take the same bite?
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby jochanaan » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:08 am

Petros wrote:"The down side to using a card is the cost to the receiver. A credit card usual costs somewhere between 4% and 6% for the transaction."

Do debit cards [vocally preferred by a pastor of our acqauaintance] take the same bite?
It probably depends on whether you use a bank or a credit union. I've had my money in a credit union for decades now and never noticed any fees from my debit card. But I've lost what trust I had in banks, especially big ones. -- Hmmm, maybe there's a parallel! Mega banks, mega churches... :shock:
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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby Bare_Truth » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:08 am

jasenj1 wrote:We give electronically. Auto-pay from our bank to the church when the paycheck comes in. Plate passes right by us every week. :D

And we can give online using a credit card. If our card pays us 1% back, would tithing with it & getting the kick back from the credit card company be wrong? Should we tithe extra to cover the kick back? :P

- Jasen.

Jasenj1
Let me offer you some points to consider, and please understand that I offer these without any sense of judging anyone (well except the banks maybe).

Most "merchants" (for lack of a better word), must allow the banks to skim a percentage of every "payment" (for lack of a better word) in return for the bank processing any "payment". Last I heard this was something like 2% to 3%. This means that if you use your card to transfer $100 to the church, they get only $97 to $98. The justification for this is that the bank is being paid for the service associated with card transactions, the book keeping of debiting your account crediting the church's account, the overhead associated with the staff required to audit accounts, correct errors and the risks and liabilities associated with identity theft, the cost of issuing the cards, and let's not forget the bank effectively provides you with receipts for your donation so the Church does not have to to facilitate you in preparing your income taxes.etc.etc.

If the benefits that accrue to the church are worth the 2% to 3%, Then you might think of it as the church spending that much to cover the costs of "doing business". On the other hand you might think of it as you paying the bank to get the funds into the church coffers in which you are not giving the church as much as you thought you were, because if you put cash in the plate, the church gets 100% of that. The bank that gives you 1% back did not do so because they love you however. The bank merely took that from the church as part of their "merchant fees" and gave it back to you.

The foregoing is all about how you look at it. And it is to your credit that you are looking.

Now let us look at the human / psychological side of it. Studies in industry have shown that there is a huge gain in the workplace relationship between worker and boss, if on payday the boss goes to each employee and presents a pay envelope with real cash in it. This benefits both worker and boss. Something in the human psyche responds to this value received for value given transaction in a way that electronically recorded digital credits and debits cannot. It is a "human thing".

Along these lines I have experienced a profound effect with respect to giving. Now that I am retired, I no longer have an "earned income arising from any current gainful employment". This skews any notions of "tithing" and "offerings", (feel free to use what ever terms here that are appropriate to you religious viewpoint on how to exercise generosity). But I do have increase, and the Bible is rife with instruction about generosity to the "have-nots". For decades I addressed this through welfare programs by the church. I am an avid gardener. That is a primary place for me where I provide the labor and God grants the increase. For simple expediency I have taken from my garden produce, loaded it in my car and gone about in this part of the county seeking out the economically strapped and given this fresh produce to them and the elderly who are on tight budgets even for food. This has opened my eyes to a thing I have been missing out on. The human connection involved in "one to one giving" returns a reward that I had not experienced before. It is a whole lot better than only being able to say "I do not bother with giving directly to the poor. We have a church program for that." What I am saying is that direct involvement in giving be it to others or the church, has an effect that is lost as the transaction becomes more and more remote and automatic.

Please note that there is nothing intended to be pejorative to you or anyone in what I am saying here, but I am suggesting that perhaps there is a better way that might be more of a blessing back on you in ways that automatic institutionalized giving simply cannot be. Likewise I believe it is a good thing for churches to not get too cozy with "outsiders, bureaucrats, money changers, and publicans". I would prefer to see a church employ their own Christian book keepers to keep track of finances.

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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby bn2bnude » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:45 am

Petros wrote:"The down side to using a card is the cost to the receiver. A credit card usual costs somewhere between 4% and 6% for the transaction."

Do debit cards [vocally preferred by a pastor of our acqauaintance] take the same bite?


I am not positive. It may not be or may not be as much.

I know that the big processors such as Visa or Mastercard do get involved and it would make sense they would get some sort of compensation. On the other hand, Costco which takes a limited list of Credit Cards (I believe AMEX and Discover) does take any debit card.
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If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby bn2bnude » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:54 am

Interesting post Bare_Truth....

Just a followup... I found I was a bit wrong. According to this article,
If you're looking for quick numbers, here you go: the average credit card processing cost for a retail business where cards are swiped is roughly 1.95% - 2%. The average cost for card-not-present businesses, such as online shops, is roughly 2.30% - 2.50%.
Businesses that use CardFellow to secure a credit card processor will pay about 0.20% - 0.50% less than the rates above.

He goes on to mention debit card fees...
Average ticket also has an impact on how many of your customers will pay with a debit card vs credit card. Debit card interchange fees are less than credit, and they'll be getting even lower after October 1, 2011 when the Durbin Amendmentis enforced.

Going back to discuss Bare_Truth's post a bit, however. Even a credit card processing fee is cheaper to a church than not receiving a donation at all.
I've worked at places, although it has been a really long time ago, where the boss did distribute paychecks. I think some of the loss of that effect is negated by the boss actually being present and active. For instance, my director is always coming through my work area, talking to people. I remember one executive VP/CIO who having once met you would remember your name. That sort of behavior goes a long way.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby natman » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:27 pm

Also, you need to consider the cost of processing cash or checks for deposit. This requires someone to go to the bank, fill out deposit slip(s) and wait for the teller to process them in order to get a proper receipt. Then there is the waiting period (usually a day or two) for any checks to clear their originating bank before the funds are actually available.

With credit card or online payment, the funds are immediately available and can be handled completely without any human intervention.

Even knowing this, I prefer to write a check for our regular giving, mostly because it takes a conscious effort and personal involvement.
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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby Bare_Truth » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:25 pm

natman wrote:....Even knowing this, I prefer to write a check for our regular giving, mostly because it takes a conscious effort and personal involvement.
A point that resonates well with me as for many, myself included repeating the physical act often increases the impact of the act on me and I find that a blessing, (though for some perhaps it is not an issue). For me, it is kind of like the kiss and saying I love you at the marriage ceremony, It is important to be repeated often.
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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby natman » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:24 pm

Bare_Truth wrote:For me, it is kind of like the kiss and saying I love you at the marriage ceremony, It is important to be repeated often.


AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

That is in direct contrast to the guys who tell their wives, "I told you I love you on the day we got married, and if anything changes, I'll let you know."
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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby Petros » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:14 am

Me not teddibly demonstrative, but I ain't that.

One can only speculate how that style of husband would react should their wives adopt the same policy.
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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby Ramblinman » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:46 am

natman wrote:
Bare_Truth wrote:For me, it is kind of like the kiss and saying I love you at the marriage ceremony, It is important to be repeated often.


AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!

That is in direct contrast to the guys who tell their wives, "I told you I love you on the day we got married, and if anything changes, I'll let you know."


The reason "do you love me?" gets asked is usually because we don't show it enough by our actions.
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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby Bare_Truth » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:57 pm

Ramblinman wrote:The reason "do you love me?" gets asked is usually because we don't show it enough by our actions.
I think that there is another factor to that which needs considered to fully develop the truth of that assertion.

Once we become habituated to those actions which express love and concern for one another we tend to stop seeing them for what they are:
For instance:
-- The extra care that one spouse (usually the wife) takes to assure that a meal is superbly prepared from a menu that the other enjoys.
-- The prompt action to repair (Usually the Husband) the labor saving devices that make the routine work of the other easier.

A little effort could make this a very long list.

So it is that the verbal or physical expression of love one for another (preferably multiple times a day) can be very important. But better yet is the expression in the form of " Thank you for X. I really love it when you do things like that". Acknowledgment of an act of love for what it is, is both rewarding to the doer and an expression of love toward the doer.

Of course there is that "ace in the hole" when you acknowledge the act of love that somehow ran amok, as an appreciated act of love even though it did not come out right.
As in:
-- "I know that you made that desert just for me, and it is a shame that it got burned, but I appreciate the effort and it was so sweet of you to do it. I love you!"
OR:
-- "Thanks for all the work to you do around here to save money, like keeping the car maintained. Spilling the oil drain pan is one of those things that just happens sometimes, Don't beat yourself up about it. I love you!"

------------------------------
This and the last 4 posts are really kind of off the "Mega Church" theme, perhaps they should be use to start a new strip. Who would ever look for this under that strip title :? . It is good stuff though.
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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby natman » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:47 pm

Bare_Truth wrote:
Ramblinman wrote:The reason "do you love me?" gets asked is usually because we don't show it enough by our actions.
I think that there is another factor to that which needs considered to fully develop the truth of that assertion.

So it is that the verbal or physical expression of love one for another (preferably multiple times a day) can be very important. But better yet is the expression in the form of " Thank you for X. I really love it when you do things like that". Acknowledgment of an act of love for what it is, is both rewarding to the doer and an expression of love toward the doer.

Of course there is that "ace in the hole" when you acknowledge the act of love that somehow ran amok, as an appreciated act of love even though it did not come out right.
As in:
-- "I know that you made that desert just for me, and it is a shame that it got burned, but I appreciate the effort and it was so sweet of you to do it. I love you!"
OR:
-- "Thanks for all the work to you do around here to save money, like keeping the car maintained. Spilling the oil drain pan is one of those things that just happens sometimes, Don't beat yourself up about it. I love you!"


I agree with Bare_Truth. However, I think that we also simply love to hear the words, "I love you." One thing that I love about my wife and our relationship is that she CONSCIOUSLY makes a point to say "I LOVE you." (emphatically) every single day. My typical response is, "I love you MORE!" Sometimes, not as often as I should, I even beat her to the punch. :D

Bare_Truth wrote:This and the last 4 posts are really kind of off the "Mega Church" theme, perhaps they should be use to start a new strip. Who would ever look for this under that strip title :? . It is good stuff though.


I agree. However, I am hard pressed to see a good dividing point without messing up both threads. Sometimes, it is just best to allow a thread to weave through a couple of rabbit holes.

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Re: "Mega Church"

Postby bn2bnude » Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:30 pm

In this post, the authors write:
But what about the people who attend really big churches? Fellow researcher Scott Thumma and I surveyed some 25,000 of them, with some fascinating discoveries:

1) Nearly two-thirds of attenders have been at these churches 5 years or less.

2) Many attenders come from other churches, but nearly a quarter haven’t been in any church for a long time before coming to a megachurch.

3) New people almost always come to the megachurch because family, friends or coworkers invited them.

4) Fifty-five percent of megachurch attenders volunteer at the church in some way (a higher percentage than in smaller churches).

5) What first attracted attenders were the worship style, the senior pastor and the church’s reputation, in that order.

6) These same factors also influenced long-term attendance, as did the music/arts, social and community outreach, and adult-oriented programs.

7) Attenders report a considerable increase in their involvement in church, in their spiritual growth, and in their needs being met.

8) Attenders can craft unique, customized spiritual experiences through the multitude of ministry choices and diverse avenues for involvement that megachurches offer.

9) In many ways, large churches today are making good progress in reaching people and moving them from spectators to active participants to growing disciples of Jesus Christ
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
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