With new people visiting the church and members being more consistent in attendance, fall is the perfect time to connect with our congregations on several different items, but most notably, volunteering, events, outreach and giving. Stewardship can be a touchy subject in churches today. Even though Jesus taught a lot about the importance of giving, it’s something pastors often don’t like to preach about. Articulating the necessity for conversations and sermons about giving, Gearing Up For Fall Giving shares this point, “But it’s inevitable – as we couldn’t really do any of these (daily or outreach functions) without our church members consistently engaging in Biblical stewardship.” And, just to be on the same page, we should agree that our personal stewardship is something that connects everything we give with what God is doing in the world. The Good News mission is fueled by our continuous giving of resources, time, and talents.
Let’s start with this heart of the matter scripture verse:
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor. 9:7
Decide in your heart- giving is a private matter. This is an interesting thought as we are all accustomed to singing a song while the offering plate is passed from person to person. It’s almost impossible to not notice if the family seated next to us immediately passed the plate or held onto it a few seconds more and dropped something into it. We often see the action of giving, but the amount given is what is private. Our Provider knows how much we have earned and what we’ve elected/sacrificed to give. Deciding to earnestly give our first fruits is about honoring our relationship with God according to His principles. Anything other than that is a distraction in our own hearts.
God loves a cheerful giver- What is a cheerful giver? Some of the synonyms I found in the thesaurus: sanguine, animated, effervescent, merry, and optimistic. You’ve probably thought up several other words I’ve not even mentioned. The point is that being a cheerful giver is a personal choice. He gave us so much first. He actually gives us everything. Our only response should be to give back to Him. And, with so much gratitude. Giving isn’t a chore or a “hey, let’s check off this giving from the to-do list” type of budgetary item. Giving is an extension of our faith and love for our Good Father which is then sown to engage the community and draw others into a relationship with Him. It’s the gift that continues to give and actually transcends currency.
The Bible calls us to give and it’s vital to the health of our churches. Deciding to give cheerfully is love in action. I’ll share more about the importance of giving tithes and offerings in a future post along with how to receive church tithes online. In the meantime, may the next opportunity we encounter to give be done so with a cheerful heart, recognizing the God of love and provision behind our gifts.
As the Vice President of Marketing for ACS Technologies’, John is responsible for Marketing’s overall corporate strategy and direction. Storyteller, promoter, problem solver to churches of all sizes and shapes. John has traveled the world working with prominent non-profit ministries. He also serves on the board of directors for Dayspring International.
This blog references the new helpful Ministry Resource on proven best practices in Gearing Up For Fall Giving which is part 4 of this 4 part Gearing Up For Fall Ministry Guide series. It is available now to you for free as an easy download to read and share. To make it even easier and so you don’t miss any of our Church Growth Resources, you can also receive our ministry blog posts straight to your inbox!