On Monday afternoon I went to a well known "NATIONAL" music store to purchase some much needed drum sticks for our drummer(yes I supply sticks for our drummers). After checking out the guitar room and doing my usual tour of the place, I found what I needed and went to check out. I told the cashier that this was a charge to our church. Without missing a beat, she informed me that they had dropped all churches from being able to charge things to their store. I asked her why they chose to do this. I have dealt with music stores and other businesses for years and have never had a problem with a church being able to charge something. Her response was, "we have had too difficult a time getting paid from churches...our owners decided to stop allowing churches to charge". Wow I thought. You have got to be kidding.
I left that store irritated that other churches had kept me from being able to charge a couple of sets drum sticks. Let's face it, it's very convenient to charge things. It was a privilege that I enjoyed very much. It's a pain to have to get reimbursed every time I need something from a music store or any other store for that matter.
As I drove back to the church I became even more irritated by something bigger than my new "inconvenience". I thought, “There must have been several instances to warrant this type of freeze on all churches”. Then I thought of my feeling of shame for the church at large as I stood there listening to the clerk share their reasons for dropping the hammer on charging. I was embarrassed for the church. How could this come to be? Failing to pay bills? Give me a break. It’s enough that we embarrass the church with our bickering and fighting. It’s enough that we struggle with a host of other things that bring disgrace to God and the church. This is just another black eye for us.
I share this as an encouragement to keep your churches integrity in check. I know there are churches that abuse about every privilege given them. My prayer is that if we have charge accounts with businesses, that we pay our bills on time. In all we do as representatives of Jesus and His church, we will be a good witnesses for the sake of the Kingdom of God.