According to Wikipedia, Saint Valentine’s Day (commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day) is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 500 AD. It was deleted from the Roman calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI, but its religious observance is still permitted. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines“).
In concept I like Valentine’s Day. I never think it is a bad thing to tell the one you love that you love them. However, the Americanized concept of Valentine’s Day has become one of the most commercialized holidays in our country. Companies make quite a bit of money on chocolates, cards, flowers, gifts and dinners. According to a 2009 article at www.thirdage.com “You may be surprised to hear that the National Retail Federation just released a survey saying people will spend an average of $103 on Valentine’s Day this year. That covers Valentine’s Day gifts, a romantic dinner, Valentine’s Day cards, etc… “ $103 per person!!!! That is a lot of money to spend on a manmade holiday to say I love you to our spouses and other loved ones on one day when we should be saying I love you everyday of the year!
According to www.christianitytoday.com there were 159 million Christians in America in 2001. Let’s go with those numbers for some math.
- 159 million Christians X $103 per person on Valentine’s Day = 16,377,000,000.
- That’s $16.3 billion!!!!!!
What could your church do with its’ equal share of $16.3 billion that Christians spend on Valentine’s Day? Do the math for your church based on average weekly worship.
- 200 people X $103 = $20,600!
- 500 people X $103 = $51,500!
- 1000 people X $103 = $103,000!
Here’s my suggestion to you and your church. This year encourage the people in your church to give the money they would spend on Valentine’s Day to the church for a special offering – or strategic giving opportunity (SGO). The offering will NOT go toward the general budget. You will need to find a specific place for the offering to go. It could go to a specific mission the church supports or an organization in the neighborhood that the church has always wanted to support or support more but never had the money in the budget to do so. Maybe your church needs a care pastor to “spread more love” to the people in your church and community, but the money has not been in the budget to hire someone. The Valentine’s offering could fund that position for a year or more!
Do you think this is a good idea? Can you do this in your church? If you’d like to implement it check this out: http://www.box.net/shared/r06z0qjpo9
Contact me for guidance through this process. I am more than willing to help. If you try it let me know how it goes.