Finding the Way Back to Mayberry

Episode #238, "The Church Benefactors"

The Mayberry church receives a $500 gift, and the congregation is undecided as to how to spend the money. The church almost divides over whether to spend the money for new choir robes or for strengthening the church's crumbling foundation. Andy's common sense finally rules the day when he convinces the congregation that they must be practical.

Lesson Points:
1. Bearing with One Another (Ephesians 4: 1-6)
/ therefore...beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Recognize your calling and the calling of others
Listen to the views of others
Maintain unity

2. Use Wisdom in Conflict Situations (James 3: 13-18)
Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom.

Use wisdom

3. Wealth (Luke 16: 11)
So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?

How does a church handle finances in a Christian way?
Individual agendas
Ultimatums and blackmail

4. History of Conflict within the Early Church (Acts 15: 10-17)
.../ will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen; from its ruins I will rebuild it, and I will set it up so that all other peoples may seek the Lord...

Paul vs. James
Must Gentiles comply with Jewish law?

5. The Flood (Genesis 6 through 10)

How can the church aid in solving a church problem?
Collaboration instead of compromise or accommodation in conflict resolution

1. What secondary lesson is presented at the beginning of the episode concerning Opie and the Canadian quarter?

2. How soon after the announcement about the $500 did individual factions begin to plot? In what spirit is the debate of the committee carried out? Is there real animosity apparent? Can you think of a church-related conflict in your own life which split the congregation up?

3. How valuable are the three proposed suggestions for the money's use? How truthful are they?

4. Given the decision that Andy must make, how Christian-like do Aunt Bee and Howard behave?

5. Instead of a win-win situation, the church is left with the same problem at the end of the episode. How do you think they will resolve the building foundation problem? Can you think of times when a problem seems fixed only to re-emerge soon after?

6. In his book A Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren writes: "Most people fail to realize that money is both a test and a trust from God. God uses finances to teach us to trust him, and for many people, money is the greatest test of all. God watches how we use money to test how trustworthy we are." Do the characters in this episode pass the test?

Final Thoughts:
"Y'know, Pa, I got a feeling if you decide on the foundation you're not going to see pumpkin pie again for a long time."—Opie

"Settle for the pool table, that'd be a compromise."—Elmo