Back in 1979, the very first church that I ever served as pastor was the Fort Adams Baptist Mission. It was located in the little fishing village of Fort Adams, the southernmost town on the Mississippi River in the state of Mississippi. It was so far in the southwest corner of Mississippi that back in those days before cable or satellite TV, the only television stations the people could receive were from Baton Rouge and Alexandria, Louisiana. It was a very isolated area, and a popular destination for deer hunters. During hunting season, the population of the area doubled.
The folks at the Baptist church in the county seat of Woodville were concerned that the people in Fort Adams were not being reached with the gospel. So they moved a house onto property in Fort Adams, renovated it into a church building, and called me to be pastor and start a new congregation.
I spent a lot of time visiting the men in the hunting camps and inviting them to worship. It was not unusual for a few men to come to a service in their hunting clothes, but most of the congregation was female. One Sunday we had about 17 women and one man show up for church at Fort Adams. The man’s nickname was “Bull.” The women told him that since he was the only man present, that he had to take up the offering. The guy had never taken up the offering in his life, and he didn’t want to do it then. But the women insisted that it was a man’s job, so Bull reluctantly agreed.
Thus while a lady played the piano, Bull walked up and down the little room, holding a plate in front of the ladies. I heard some laughter during the offering, and after the service ended, I asked them what was so funny. It turned out that as he held the offering plate out, Bull prodded them by saying, “Shake it loose, ladies.”
Scripture encourages us to tithe to our local place of worship (Malachi 3:10) and to use our wealth to share with those in need (Ephesians 4:28). Or as Bull would say, many of us need to “shake it loose.” How about you?
(Copyright 2011 by Bob Rogers. Email: email@example.com. Read this column each Friday for a mix of religion and humor. For more “Holy Humor,” visit the Web site of First Baptist Church of Rincon at www.fbcrincon.com.)