I am fully aware that every Church has different thoughts when it comes to giving and finances. Today I want to share a few of my thoughts on these topics.
1.I Believe in Sacrificial Stewardship –
I believe that God owns everything under heaven. He simply allows us to use it (or steward) while we live on the earth. He gave us our gifts and abilities. He put us in the right place at the right time to have this job. As a result we are to share part of what he has given us to further the work of the Lord on earth.
Do I believe in a tithe – or giving 10%? Well … sort of. In the Old Testament people were to give a 10% of everything. Now we live under the grace found in the New Testament. We are not required to keep the law, but I do think it is a good starting point. Bob Russell gave a great illustration years ago. He said, when he had one child the babysitter asked him for $25 an evening. Then we he had a second child the sitter said, “give me what you think is right.” Now, should I give more or less? God said give 10% in the Old Testament when we struggled under law. Now we are covered with abundant grace and he says, “do what you think it right.”
2. I Don’t Believe in Fundraising –
Fundraising is usually an exchange. I wash your car and you give money. I sell you this overpriced item and you give me money. You eat a meal and overpay for the plate of food.
I hate fundraising. I believe in faith-raising. Faith-raising is where people are stretched to give to the work of the Lord. They do that to stretch their faith and learn to trust God’s provision. Fundraising pays bills but faith-raising grows people.
3. I Believe in the Mission of the Church –
I believe the Church is called to live and function on purpose. We are to spread the gospel while making the kingdom of God present in the world. The Church can do this in many ways. We can have food pantries, go on mission trips, host a VBS, support missionaries and a number of other things. The Church collects people’s giving with the purpose of continuing this great work with the money given.
4. I Don’t Believe in Multiple Ministry Accounts –
Many Churches have multiple accounts all over the Church. There is a ladies aid society fund, building fund, youth fund, library fund and on and on. I once visited a Church with 9 different accounts. The problem was that the Church was not unified. Some people wanted their money to only go to kids and never buy a book. People were territorial and givers were courted by each ministry. It was a mess. I believe in one account. People give their money to the work of the Lord and the leadership strives to do the best with what they are given. One church with one account working together as one body.
Some of these ideas may not sound radical to you, but in some contexts they have been revolutionary. Hopefully they will serve as a guide for you to think about the finances of the Church … at least where I preach.