Welcome to the Hillcrest website! I am so thrilled to be a part of Hillcrest Baptist Church and that you decided to stop by and see what we’re about! As your pastor, I want to be sure to have clear communication with members and visitors. This page is dedicated to just that. Please check back often to hear from me or to get in touch with me. I look forward to hearing from you! Do check back often, as we will be adding new ways to worship, minister and motivate!
From Our Pastor
Tuesday – Friday
9:00 – 4:00
Please call the church office to set an appointment.
Charlie began serving Hillcrest in March of 2020. He has served as a pastor in three previous congregations; his last pastorate in Louisville, KY was for 29 years. He is a graduate of Oakland City University with a BA in Biblical Studies and holds his Master’s from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a focus on Pastoral Ministry and Christian Education.
Charlie and his wife Mendy have been married for 38 years. They both grew up in Michigan and have continued to be life-long Michigan fans. They have 3 daughters; Abbey, Elizabeth and Emily, and one son, Andrew, with one grandson, William. When not pastoring, Charlie enjoys gathering with his family, spending time on the gulf, playing golf and watching the University of Michigan. Go blue!
FROM PASTOR Charlie
Passing Offering Plates during Worship?
I grew up all my life attending worship services; Sunday morning and evening, and Wednesdays too. My mother was the church organist and occasionally played the piano. Therefore, since my dad seldom attended, me, my brother and sister, sat by ourselves, and always up front where our mom could see us. During the offering, it was our responsibility of placing the check in the plate.
My memories are of my mom and dad being disciplined to make sure they gave systematically,
every week, to the Lord. Before any other bills were paid, or before any purchases were made, it was their priority to honor the Lord with their finances. Their tithe check was given every week as the church ushers passed the offering plates. I never questioned the biblical validity or efficacy of passing the plate, it was just something churches did.
Most of you know that during Covid (2020), due to health concerns, taking up a public offering was discontinued in almost all churches; including our own. The Rainer Research Group recently released
results from a recent poll of pastors and found that seven of ten churches no longer pass the offering plate.
After talking with several pastors, and doing some research of my own, I’ve discovered the Rainer research sounds correct; most churches have made the decision not to resume the practice.
Passing offering plates during corporate worship services is becoming a thing of the past.
What was once a necessary tool for collecting tithes and offerings is now being replaced by electronic donations such as debit cards, bank transfers, automatic withdrawals, and
online payment apps. Futurists are predicting that we are moving toward a cashless
society and they seem to be right, even among our churches. Across all age groups, 63%
of donors prefer to give electronically, according to the non-profit ‘Tech for Good.’ They
also discovered that 57% of donors who give online have enrolled in a recurring giving program.
So, what do you think? Should Hillcrest pass offering plates during Sunday morning worship?
If you are wondering what the Bible says, then consider the following observations. First,
the Scripture never mentions the practice of passing offering plates during church
services. However, it does provide plenty of guidance on various forms of giving, such
as Christians donating to the poor, giving to God what belongs to Him, and supporting
ministers who preach the gospel.
Here are a few key New Testament giving principles… First, in 1 Corinthians 16:2, the
apostle Paul instructs the church at Corinth to give SYSTEMATICALLY, “to set aside
a sum of money on the first day of every week, according to each one’s ability, to support
the needs of the church and the saints.”
Second, from 2 Corinthians 8:1 – 5, Paul instructs the Corinthians to give SACRIFICIALLY, “as God prospers them.”
Third, in 2 Corinthians 9:7, Paul also teaches that Christians should give CHEERFULLY, “each person should give as they have decided in their heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Therefore, while passing offering plates may be a practical way of collecting funds for the church’s needs, it is not explicitly prescribed in the bible as the only or best way to give.
What I am clear on is three things; First, we need to make sure we provide our members with a way to bring their offerings on Sunday mornings, either by passing offering plates or providing offering boxes at the exits of the worship area. Second, we need to make sure we provide
clear guidance on the various ways people can choose to give (electronically, etc…what are the options?). And third, we need to provide clear and regular biblical instruction on what the New Testament teaches about giving.
Finally, we are going to resume passing offering plates on Sunday morning, November 12 th at the end of the worship service. And, if you have insights, questions, etc…please feel free to share them with me, one of the staff members or those in the church office.