I know the Bible says we should give with a cheerful heart, but maybe that was a mistake. Maybe all along Jesus meant we should give with a “competitive heart.” I hope that’s what He was thinking because few things are as fun as a boys vs. girls give-a-thon.
Chances are you’ve never been involved in one of these. Maybe your church gave out those banks that were shaped like loaves of bread in Sunday School. Or you had a small little woven basket you passed around after you colored with “prang crayons” instead of Crayola and before you ate goldfish crackers. But a few of you know exactly what I’m talking about. A few of you participated in an old school boys vs. girls give-a-thon.
Most of the time these competitions were held during Vacation Bible School and the concept was simple: Let’s see which gender loves Jesus more, as evidenced by the amount of money they turn in. I probably oversimplified it, but that’s the gist.
Some churches used pink and blue buckets to gather the loot. Others had jars with “boys” and “girls” scrawled on them, but my favorite is when a church would do the “Biggest Loser” approach.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that show but it’s a weight loss competition in which individuals or couples compete against each other to lose the most weight possible. Spurred on by Bob, a tattooed trainer with a past, and Jillian, the only human more intense than Craig Groeschel, contestants are weighed on a massive scale each week to track their progress. Oddly enough, that’s how things were done at my friend Beth’s church.
During VBS, her church would bust out gigantic wooden scales that you could hang buckets on. Each day, boys and girls would try to bring in the heaviest change possible. At the end of the week, the weight would be totaled and then the gender with the heaviest donation would win a … I’m not sure what they would win actually.
Beth didn’t put that part of the story in her comment, but if that happened at the church I’m starting, iGracePointeLifeTruthHouseNorthRiverElevate, the winners would get to spend the loser’s money. On puppies and Ferris Wheel rides and suspenders made of licorice. Then the second place team, probably the boys, would have to watch a bunch of girls enjoy licorice suspenders and Ferris Wheel rides and in their hearts they’d think, “You’ve taught me a lesson, Honorable Reverend Acuff, you surely have. From this moment on, I’m going to be like that widow with the mite. Whatever a mite is.”
Doesn’t that sound fantastic?