The elders of the young seeker-sensitive church were reviewing the church's financial situation.
"Why doesn't the income from our congregation increase?"
"Weekly income is a puzzle. It goes up for awhile and then drops. There doesn't seem to be any pattern.
"If we had 40 couples that tithed, we'd have plenty of money."
"Of course we have a lot of couples that are new to the church."
"And a few of our solid contributors have left."
"But still, for the number of people who are attending, our income seems very low. Why don't people give more?"
"I wonder if we're too soft on asking. I know it's sensitive. We don't want to come across as money hungry."
"We don't want people to get the notion we're always in a crisis. We don't want a series of 'bail-out' appeals."
"But still, we need to teach stewardship. It's part of the Christian life."
"I think many young people - and our church has mostly young people - are generally less financially disciplined than the older generation."
"They insist on quality. And they've grown up having a lot more things than their parents. Their expectations are pretty high. They aren't especially conservative."
There an awful lot of things they wouldn't think of doing without."
"Many young people don't have much money to give because they have large house payments and consumer debts."
"In actual fact, we could all get along without a lot of the things we think we need."
"It seems that people spend whatever money they have on hand to get what they think they need for themselves and then, if they have any left over, they consider giving some of it to the church.
"We need to help our people to understand the importance of giving to God first, and trusting Him to help them live on the remainder.
"Changing the subject, how is our church doing on giving to international ministries to help take the Gospel to those who do not have it and help strengthen the church where people are genuinely poor?"
"Well, we've not done what we hoped for this year."
"We've had to hire additional staff to carry out the church's ministries."
"And we had to upgrade the children's facilities."
"And improve the sound system."
"And we still can't seem to catch up with the bills."
"We just don't seem to have much left to give to missions."