The 4 Reasons People Give to their Church

During my 30 years in ministry, I’ve discovered that people give to their church for 4 primary reasons.

1. Obedience-because the Bible teaches it, they believe and practice it.

2. Challenge-some are motivated by big vision and challenge.

3. Reason-it costs the church money to run, so some give because it makes sense.

4. Compassion– touching their heart through a need motivates others to give.

What other reasons have you seen that motivates Christians to give?

I’ve unpacked these motivations in the post below. It’s a rather long post.

When Faith calls out from a Pediatric ICU

The frigid temperature caused me to catch my breath and I squinted as my pupils adjusted to the intense lighting.   After hearing the respirator’s rhythmic sound, I glanced into the room to my right. I felt the sadness of two red-eyed parents as they gingerly held their child’s hand.  My heavy heart became heavier still as I entered the rarified world of a pediatric intensive care unit.

The surgeon had just completed my youngest daughter’s third brain surgery.  A few weeks prior, Tiffany had memorized a Scripture that she claimed for this surgery.  As a result, my wife and I soon received an unforgettable lesson in faith.

As we approached the curtained cubicle to our left we found Tiffany bundled under several white hospital blankets.  As I viewed the clear plastic tubes protruding from her head, nose and arms, my eyes filled with tears.  As she awakened our eyes locked.  Then in a pained, raspy voice she whispered these words: Fear not, for I am with Thee, the theme verse she had chosen from Isaiah 43:5 (KJV).

Those spontaneous words of simple faith from a five year old indelibly etched themselves into my heart.  My faith has never been the same since.

This incident occurred over 15 years ago. Tiffany has undergone another brain surgery since then as well as several other surgeries. She lives today and is a testimony to God’s grace.

What this Twit-a-holic learned when his account got SUSPENDED!

Account Suspended

This account is currently suspended and is being investigated due to strange activity.


I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this message from Twitter!

Me, Charles Stone, who loves puppies, drives the speed limit, and secretly wants to be a Wal-Mart security guard to catch people really doing bad stuff… had my account suspended for STRANGE ACTIVITY.

Over the next several days I went through the process of grief that included …

  • denial (this can’t be happening to me, I’m a pastor) to
  • guilt (what did I do wrong, I’m a pastor) to
  • anger (how dare they, did I say I’m a pastor) to
  • depression (how can I make it without reading about the mundane details of total strangers) to
  • loneliness (how can my several thousand followers whom I’ve never met and never will make it through a day without hearing about important details of MY life like, ‘I’m eating an Asiago cheese bagel in the third booth on the left at Panera Bread restaurant”) to
  • acceptance (I will live; I can always post on Facebook) to
  • hope (my social networking guru friend John Zimmerman with eRocketFuel assured me that Twitter would restore my account after a few days).

So, my life is now back to normal since I’m back on Twitter.

I’m sure all you Twitterers in Twitterland have been agonizing since I’ve been gone. Have no fear … I am here. I’m ok. You’re ok.

Here’s what I learned.

  • Life does go on without Twitter.
  • Getting suspended is not a venial nor a mortal sin.
  • I should be grateful for the free service Twitter offers.
  • I must be careful about churning–added and unadding followers too quickly
  • The suspension helped me realize I was hooked to Twitter
  • When I get hooked, I waste precious time that should be spent on other more important things.

If you’ve been ever been suspended, I’d love to hear what you learned.