When the first church I started began its first building, there was a young sailor with a family of two small children who was struggling to pay his bills. One Saturday night there was a knock at my door and he stood there with a beautiful hunting rifle. He could not even speak. He just gave it to me and ran down the steps from my apartment.
That Monday I went to a gunsmith and asked him what he could give my church for this beautifully hand carved weapon. He looked at me so strangely and asked me “What are you preaching in your little church over there that could get a man to give you a gun like this?”
Later I was asked to speak to the Elders of a Presbyterian Church. They were not specific about what they wanted; they simply said they would ask me questions. The meeting opened with a question from a very familiar voice: “Just tell us how you got the man’s bird gun?”
The gunsmith was one of the Elders at that meeting. As a result of a retreat with those Elders discussing stewardship, wonderful things happened. I believe God can use the sacrificial giving of a sailor’s bird gun more fruitfully than he does the larger gifts given by wealthy people who do not give sacrificial gifts.
If we think about it, we all have a “bird gun.” Stewardship challenges us to give that cherished treasure to God. That is what Lonnie Gunter did. If the members of the body of Christ would all catch the vision of what sacrificial giving looks like, it would revolutionize the way our churches are funded today and in every generation.