Broadly speaking the Bible talks about giving financially into two things; giving to God (primarily seen in giving money to your church) and giving financially to help those in need.
This past Sunday Chris gave 5 key values about financial giving in Redeemer. Here is an overview of what he said:
As with everything else, we want to have a view of giving money that is completely rooted in Scripture. Therefore, these key values are not unique to Redeemer; they would apply to every church that seeks to have a Biblical practice in terms of giving money to the church.
Value 1: God provides for Redeemer.
Ultimately, it is God who provides for our needs as a church; it is not people. God will always provide for what he calls us to do. This is such an important value. If we did not have this value in place it would be so easy to move towards a focus and pressure on people to supply our needs. Yes, of course – God does use the regular giving of people as a vital means to provide for the needs of the church… BUT, God is still the source of provision.
[This same principle applies to us as individuals – God may use a salary, Government help, or another type of allowance to provide for us but it is still him that provides. If for whatever reason a job comes to an end or circumstances change for us, we can rest in the assurance that God will still provide for us even if his means of doing it changes!]
Value 2: You don’t have to give any money to be welcome in Redeemer.
People are valued in Redeemer not according to what they give or don’t give. Everyone is valued in Redeemer because God loves and values them. If people are Christians and consider Redeemer as their ‘home church’ we would love them to give because we want them to obey Jesus and grow as a follower of him. But, Christian or enquirer, Redeemer member or just a visitor, all are valued regardless of whether they give anything or not.
Value 3: Giving reflects our worship to God.
We either worship money (and what we think money can bring us), or we worship God with our money. How we handle the money that God entrusts us with is a direct reflection of our worship of God. Do we love God? Do we trust him with our lives’? Is he of first importance in our hearts? If the answer to these questions is yes, then our financial giving should reflect these truths.
Value 4: As Christians we have the privilege of giving.
Financial giving to the church is not a tax on being a Christian! It is not a necessary evil in the midst all the good things that God gives us. Quite the opposite is true. Paul writes to the Corinthian church and encourages them to ‘excel in the grace of giving’ (2 Cor. 8:7). As Christians we do not have to give money, we get to give money. It is a vital part of us growing as Christians that we learn to give as God calls us to. As we learn to excel in the grace of giving we learn so much more about ourselves and God. We learn to trust God more and depend on his provision in our lives.
Value 5: How much you give is up to you.
There are no rules in the New Testament about how much we should give. In the Old Testament, the people of God would give (among other special offerings and gifts) a ‘tithe’ which represented 10% of their income.
The New Testament gives no rules about financial giving to the Church. It does, however, give some very clear principles including:
- Give regularly (eg. 1 Cor 16:2).
- Give joyfully (eg. 2 Cor 9:7).
- Give sacrificially (eg. 2 cor 9:6-12).
With everything taken into consideration, ‘tithing’, remains a great principle, and a very good place to start from in terms of choosing how much to give.