My Counting Ministry

CraigI was raised as a Lutheran: I went to Sunday school every Sunday, sang in the children’s choir and attended 3 years of confirmation classes before being confirmed at the end of 9th grade, I was raised with a “proper” Christian education in the tradition of a Swedish Lutheran church.

When I graduated from high school I, like many of my contemporaries, did not attend regular church services for the next 30 years. Since I was never married or had children I never had a need to “set an example” for my offspring and start attending church regularly.

(Weddings, funerals and being forced by your parents when you’re home for a visit don’t count as regular attendance.)

The lack of church attendance presented no conflict for me because I had so many valid reasons for not going:

...I was working on a career which often included relocation...
...My friends weren’t going to church...
...I had “done my time” with all those years of Sunday school and confirmation classes...

And the best reason...

...I didn’t need a structured church setting to reaffirm my personal relationship with God.

I was a good guy, treated most people well and often behaved more Christian than a lot of people around me. Using the politically correct phrase of the day, “I was more spiritual than religious.”

In a setting with unfamiliar people I am generally quiet and polite. When I started attending services at Grace earlier this year it was no exception. The first few times sharing the peace during worship was a little uncomfortable. When exiting worship, I would handshake with appropriate politeness and be gone in 60 seconds.

I was aware through the announcements that Grace was in need of counters. One Sunday, I finally dived in and started counting the collection plate and recording deposits. I counted a couple of more Sundays. The next week, I was approached just before service and asked I could fill-in as counter due to a schedule conflict. “Sure I can!”

The outcomes of this simple action have surprised me:

  • I attend church more.
  • I enjoy the sharing of the peace.
  • I hug Pastor Lura on the way out.
  • I can’t wait to help out as a counter.
  • I am starting casual friendships with others at Grace.

All these great outcomes from this simple action. I call this a simple action because I have been an accounting professional for decades. Being a counter comes easily to me. Then the “AH HA” moment. This is what it is all about. Taking something that is second nature to me and using to help out. It’s not a task. It’s a JOY!

I was sharing this with a friend who recently came to church with me. After service, he waited while I counted the offering and we went to brunch. On the way he told me he was honored to be with royalty. I didn’t understand the reference until he said “you know, Count de Monet.”


Any member of Grace can serve as an offering counter, all that is required is a once a month commitment. Please contact the office for more information

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