Heads AND Tails

Friday, October 26, 2012

My name is Mike Krantz and I've been a part of Next Level Blakeney from the beginning.  In fact, I was part of Crosspoint Church before the two churches merged.  Before moving to Charlotte in 2010, I was the Lead Pastor of a church plant in Buffalo, NY called Trading Post 317 (a place where you brought whatever you had and left with whatever you needed).  I had the opportunity to serve as pastor there for 6 years.

While being the pastor of a small church plant, there was one thing that I struggled to talk openly and freely about….. money.  I was sheepish to talk about money not because I don’t think it’s an important part of our lives or an important aspect to our relationship with God, because I most certainly do believe that.  The reason why I was sheepish to talk about money and tithing was that it seemed too self serving.  I am thoroughly embarrassed by some of the men I see on television masquerading as men called by God who at the end of the program are begging, pestering, and cajoling me for my money.  It rubs me the wrong way and I know it turns a lot of people off to the Christian faith.  So, in order to make it seem as though I wasn't there to ask for people’s money, I just didn't ask.  This was a mistake.  My salary as a pastor was derived by the giving of those who attended Trading Post 317.  When I thought about asking people to give to God, I felt like I’d be asking them to write a check directly to me.  I didn't like that any more than I liked the televangelist using his slick words and quick paced speech to get me to open up my checkbook.

Fortunately, I am now on the other side of the conversation.  I feel emboldened to speak what I know to be true about our money because I will not be directly benefiting from the giving.  The Challenge at Next Level Church gives us an opportunity to put our money where our mouths are.  Instead of saying we want to see change happen in our community and in lives around the world, we get to fund these initiatives.  (Disclaimer: Just giving money to a specific organization doesn't necessarily mean our hearts are pure before God, but it certainly doesn't hurt to give sacrificially to our Creator, either).  I want to take this opportunity to personally challenge you to seek God’s direction through prayer and any other means at your disposal concerning what level of sacrifice you can offer to Him through this unique opportunity Next Level Church has called The Challenge.  I speak boldly to you as one who isn't in this for your money.

One side of this Challenge coin is for the leadership to inspire you to see the needs and opportunities for your money to help advance God’s Work in our community and this world.  The other side of the coin is our response to God’s direction for our sacrifice in the giving of our money.  I've been on both sides of this coin, and I can speak from experience that your generous gifts to Next Level Church will help our church grow, but it will also help you grow in your relationship with God.  If I had to pick a side of this coin to be on, I’d choose tails… because we all know that Tails Never Fails (at least 50% of the time).

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