How Much Should I Give to the Church?
That is a good question.
Have you ever asked yourself that question? Or, discussed it with your spouse? Lynette and I frequently talk about how much we will return to the Lord from what the Lord has provided. For us the answer is easy: We give 10% right off the top of what we receive in compensation from all sources, to wit, my salary and health care supplement as well as Lynette’s pension and Social Security. Then we give as much as we can for special projects.
After I became a Christian, I wondered about the minimum I could contribute and still feel like I was fulfilling my duty to God through the church. I was “majoring in a minor.” What I was unconsciously asking was, “What is the least I can do and still get by?” My main concern was, “Would there be enough left over for me and my family?” That is a legitimate question. However, if that is the motivation, why give at all? Why not just attend and give nothing to support the work of Jesus Christ through the church? The reason is that I could never feel right in church if I were not doing my part. I was always uneasy about being there. Finally, I decided to turn it over to God. So I gave what was asked, 10% of what I earned. I remember thinking “this is gonna hurt!”
NOT SO! IT DID NOT HURT! It was amazing the sense of well-being I experienced in giv- ing what God asked. Then I would give to special offerings as well, over and above the 10%. It wasn’t giving until it hurt, it was giving until it felt good. I never again wondered if there would be enough left over for me and my family. My concern was to help physically and financially as much as I could. For Lynette and me, that is still our goal.
When we think about it, the Christian life is saturated with giving. God is the perfect example of this when He gave His only Son. Christ’s teachings emphasized this when He taught in Luke 6:27ff: “Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. Give to everyone who begs from you...forgive and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into you lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
So, how do you answer the question, “How much should I give to the church?” My answer
is, “Don’t give till it hurts, give till it feels good!” I hope that is your answer, also. Start today! Start this week! Start this Sunday!
Your friend and pastor,
PS. Call me if you need me. I am here for you.
PPS. I selected this newsletter article after finding out in late July that our church only had about
$5,000 in the checking account. We had to draw from our reserve funds in the Florida UM Foundation.
I also found out that as a church, we have not had a full Stewardship/Financial Campaign to support the ministry of Jesus Christ through the church in quite a while. I will recommend to the Church Council that we have a pledge drive this November.