This has been sitting in my drafts for six months.

WEST MONROE (KNOE 8)-Technology is becoming more evident in the church. If church-goers don’t have cash or checks they can make donations through the use of their debit card. A West Monroe Church has installed what resembles an ATM, as a way of letting its congregation give back.

It’s a church staying up to date with what some fondly describe as an automated teller machine of a spiritual kind.

[A] church in West Monroe is giving members like [Mr. Giver] the option to use debit cards instead of cash by using a giving kiosk.

Church member, [Mr. Giver], says, “I like being able to pay my bills online, not having to write checks, so the ease of being able to use my debit or credit card is just more faster and convenient.”

The kiosk is a computer device that resembles the everyday ATM.

By simply typing in select information, [Giver] can enter how much he wishes to give, and to which ministry his money will go.

[…]

Don’t look to get any cash back, the giving kiosk doesn’t do that or charge a fee.

The church hopes it will allow people to enjoy swiping as a means of showing their faith.

120 churches across the country are currently using the kiosk machines.

Read the whole story here: Source: http://www.knoe.com/Global/story.asp?S=11270466

While I cannot find something outright objectionable about this, something about having a pay-as-you-go debit card swiping kiosk at your church doesn’t sit right with me.

Woe be unto me for criticizing anyone for giving (I’m terrible about it), but I’ve always thought that part of giving an offering is the idea of sacrifice, and sacrifice isn’t convenient. I know that there is a certain irony in this coming from a guy who has three blogs (albeit three blogs that aren’t well-maintained), but this seems symptomatic of the electronic disconnect more and more people appear to be experiencing;

I know that when I pay with cash, I always feel a bit more reluctant to part with my money than when I pay with a debit card, because debits are one computer exchanging a string of zeros and ones with another computer, whereas with cash you are physically parting with something — the sacrifice just doesn’t seem as strong when you can’t see it take place.

Anyway, food for thought.

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