Building our new church facility went without a hitch. Our first service in the new building, however, was another matter.
For over a year, the board had talked about changing the way we took offerings. Our practice had been for members to place their offerings in a box on the wall. We were convinced we needed to start passing the plate.
We knew that would make some people uncomfortable, so we decided to begin passing the plate when we moved into the new church building. With so many other changes, who would notice one more?
The morning of our first service in the new building, I received a phone call from John, a former board member.
"Is what I heard true?" he asked. "Are you planning to take an offering this morning?"
I told him we were, and he went ballistic. "If you do," he said, "I'll interrupt the service and call you to account!"
We had violated a fundamental principle in successful small church leadership: we had overlooked the congregation's ...1