28 Aug How Much Should I Give? (repost)
Back in August 2007 we were studying on Sundays a passage that dealt with our finances and giving. At that time one of our congregants involved in leadership posted the following article to our website.
I thought with our study beginning this week of chapters 8 and 9 of 2 Corinthians this article is well worth re-posting for all to be reminded of.
People often have good questions about church offering and their own responsibility to give. Here are a few that I’ve heard and some answers straight from God’s Word.
Why should I give offerings to the church?
Mostly it is a demonstration of how we value God. Ask yourself, “Do I put God first in every aspect of my life?” God demands that we give Him first place in our lives (Exodus 20:3, Colossians 1:18). Giving is the principle of first fruits. To acknowledge that all of our income comes from God, we give the first portion to Him. Jesus also required full allegiance of those who would follow Him. (Matthew 10:37-38). Likewise, the Apostle Paul commends the Macedonians, for giving their support, and more—giving themselves first to the Lord (2 Cor. 8:5).
What about giving to groups outside the church?
The examples we have in the Scripture all point to the tithes and offerings coming into the Temple or Tabernacle (Old Testament) or being distributed in and by the Church (New Testament). We believe that the primary way that God is working is through the local churches which Christ established through the Apostles. While it is good to support other ministries which are building up God’s Kingdom, we would encourage regular giving to be given to the church you attend. Your giving supports the salaries of your pastors and staff, pays for facilities and provides ministry money. The benefits received set up a responsibility to supply for the need. Support of other ‘para-church’ ministries should be given above and beyond your contributions to your local church.
How much should I give?
The short answer is to give proportionate to your income. While much is said about tithing 10% of your income, we see that God leaves your offering amount up to you – His call is to give to Him first, generously and with a joyful heart. We all need to ask if we may in fact be robbing God with a lesser gift than we really should be giving (1 Corinthians 16:2). And so, your giving percentage is impacted by your earning capacity. There is no doubt that giving is a faith venture. The principle is easy, “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want” (Proverbs 11:24; cf. 2 Corinthians 9:6). Anyone can try this out and see it to be true. Bottom line . . . be generous.
How often should I give?
Once a person determines what they will give, there needs to be a plan for delivering on the desire. Giving an offering is an act of worship, therefore some people find weekly giving to be the best. Others who are paid biweekly, monthly or quarterly give according to those time frames. No matter what you decide to do, be faithful in that. When you have to miss one of your “giving Sundays” be sure to make it up the next time you are at church (1 Corinthians 16:2). Please remember that when you bring your offering, it is God who receives it and it is indeed an act of worship. It is not for the pastor or the church. Your gift is to the Lord.
What else should I know about giving?
God doesn’t want anyone doing this out of obligation or with a poor attitude. God’s heart is that we would give cheerfully. Paul wrote, “Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). That means that when I put my offering in the basket or write the cheque, I am happy to be doing it . . . to have a part in worshiping Him and helping the work of Christ go forward.