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People often have good questions about church offerings 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 is the principle of first fruits. To acknowledge that all of our income comes from God, we give the first portion to Him. In Malachi 3:10, God promises to open the windows of heaven and pour out incredible blessing on those who will put Him first in this way. 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 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 believe regular giving is to be given to the church you attend. Your giving advances the Kingdom of God through the ministries of 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 New Testament teaching going beyond the prescriptive nature of the tithe in Israel. 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. Few among us can imagine giving 10% or more of our incomes. It seems that most months there is just enough to pay the bills. But 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 pledge. 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 worshipping Him and helping the work of Christ go forward.
If you have more questions, or would like information on how finances are managed at Harvest Bible Chapel, contact us at: