Something the Christian church is famous (or maybe infamous) for is “passing the plate.” When people list their complaints against gatherings of Christians, in addition to the universal complaints of hypocrisy and closed-mindedness, you can count on “always talking about money” making the top few.
So, it seems fair to take a second and answer the question… “why do we give?”
Part of this would be “what do we give to” and that is easiest, so we start there.
At FBC, at least 10% of everything that comes in goes to mission endeavors – spreading the gospel, feeding the hungry, tending to the homeless, supporting missionaries, financing mission trips, and more. Additional funds are set aside for special outreach events beyond to the 10%...For example, another part goes to support various ministries in the church, like the children’s ministries, singles’, womens’, mens’, students’, special needs, etc.
Another percentage goes to paying staff – pastors, student ministers, children’s ministers, facilities staff, etc. These are the people who sweep and mow and come to visit us in the hospital and officiate our marriages, protect and teach our children, and train us to be ministers as well.
Another part goes to paying for the operations of the church. Lights, Climate controls, repairs, printing, and other such day-to-day costs.
But why do any of this?
Christians find joy in giving to God’s Church far a variety of reasons. First, we believe that everything is God’s (look at Psalm 24:1) and so our giving is a chance to express our appreciation – not a forced sense of God being needy for our money or something. Appreciation for the gifts God gives us (James 1:17)
Also, we know that it can be a great joy to give. Acts 20:35 says that it is more of a blessing to give than receive and 2 Corinthians 9:7 says that “God loves a cheerful giver.”
Maybe most important of all, is that we know the truth of Jesus’ words, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) We know that our hearts will follow our time, money and energy. Our kids know this too, and they know how important money is. This kind of giving can bond our families to one another and to a cause that is grander than we are.
And, of course, finally, we believe that it is a wise investment. Church is not the only place where one can give/sacrifice treasure for the sake of God’s Kingdom, but it is certainly one of them, and as Jesus also said in Matthew 6: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
So, come… and if you want, cheerfully give with us and let us worship and live, teach, and tell…together.