A GUIDE TO GIVING
Jesus said more about money than just about any other subject. He warned about the danger of loving money more than God:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6)
This guide has been put together to help answer the following questions about giving at Point Community Church.
- What does the Bible teach us about giving?
- How does the church use the money given?
- What are the ways in which one can give?
The principle of giving
“Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
The generosity of God on sending His Son to take the punishment for sinful people is an incredible act of generosity. In turn, God’s people are to be generous and kind hearted, to be givers.
The Apostle Paul calls on each Christian to give what he has decided in his heart to give. (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Not everyone can give the same amount, but we should all be giving. In many churches approximately 40% in the congregation give nothing.
We understand that not everyone will be able to give the same, but we want everyone to share in the joy of Christian giving. Paul uses the example of the Macedonian churches, who though very poor…”Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lords people” (2 Corinthians 8:4)
They were in fact pleading with Paul to give their money away. Giving for them was a way of expressing partnership in Paul’s gospel work.
Giving generously and sacrificially
In the Old Testament, God commanded his people to give at least a tenth (tithe) of all their produce to God in joyful response to his blessings for them. Much of the tithe went towards supporting the priests and Levites who served them in God’s work, and through them to the poor in the community. (Numbers 18, Deuteronomy 26)
How much are we supposed to give?
It may come as a surprise that the New Testament never commands percentages. A good starting point for most people is 10%. This however should not be a legalistic figure we must stick to. If you have a large family or earn very little, even 10% may be difficult to manage. But if you have been blessed you can afford to give a higher percentage.
“In the midst of very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability” (2 Cor 8:2-3)
A good approach to giving is to make your giving sacrificial in some way. That is, we give beyond the point of comfort. Gods giving to us was sacrificial, it cost Him everything. It therefore makes sense that our giving should see us accepting personal cost. Our tendency might be to give only if there is something left over after we have decided what we want or need. It might be more in line with the Bibles teaching to first consider your giving, even though that may be a sacrifice.
Notice how Jesus commends the poor widow (Mark 14:41-44). Her two copper coins represented far greater sacrifice, and therefore impressed Jesus far more than the rich who could easily afford to give more, but weren’t actually sacrificing much by doing so.
In some practical advice about a collection for the Jerusalem poor, Paul says, “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made” (1 Cor 16:2)
This tells us that we as Christians need to:
- Plan ahead responsibly in terms of our giving
- Give proportionally according to our income
We read in 2 Cor 9:7 that God loves a cheerful giver. According to Paul, the opportunity to give in support of work of the kingdom can be considered a grace from God. We can also give cheerfully knowing that generous, sacrificial giving is often Gods way of helping us battle materialism and our way of storing up (real!) treasure in heaven.
Jesus warned about the danger of giving to impress others. “When you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your right hand know what your left hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matt 6:2-4)
The work at Point Community Church is entirely reliant on giving from the Point Community Church congregation. We don’t receive any funding from our denomination. We are grateful for God’s faithfulness and provision over the years through the generosity of many people.
CHURCH BANK DETAILS
Bank: Standard Bank
Branch Code: Sea Point 4109
Account Type: Business Current Account
Account Number: 07 104 466 3
Account Holder: Point Community Church