Planning individual and corporate worship each week is not a science. It’s done by seeking and knowing the Lord and seeking and knowing what He wants for His people. As pastors here at Fellowship West, we are often reevaluating ministries and elements to our services to determine what’s best for our people.
After some seeking and conversation among our staff and members, we are instituting a change in how we give our offering during service. With our current way of giving at the end of the morning, during the announcements, it can often feel like just our weekly tip to the church. It may feel like a routine, a tradition, an obligation. But that’s not the kind of giving we believe God wants.
Beginning this Sunday, we will incorporate our offering time into our time of singing before the sermon. We believe this will better serve our attitudes toward the Lord in our giving. It is meant to be an act of obedience, an act of worship, a way we show both devotion and adoration towards God. If you normally give in the offering basket after the sermon, make sure you have your offering ready early. If you would like to give online instead, click here.
If you’re still wondering why you should give your hard-earned money to the local church in the first place, I have consolidated a very helpful article below by Pastor John Piper. You can view the full article here.
Seven Biblical Reasons to Tithe
1. Honoring an Old Testament Principle
Tithing honors an Old Testament principle of how God provided for the ministers he called and the work they were doing for God and the people. Some of God’s people are called not to do moneymaking business in the ordinary ways. They are called to be pastors and ministers and missionaries and ministry assistants, and so on. The rest of God’s people (call them “lay ministers”) are to be gainfully employed and support the “vocational ministers”–and the costs of that ministry. In the Old Testament God laid down that this be done by tithe. What God requires of us now that we’re in Christ is different than it was then, but his intent and heart is the same. The apostle Paul endorses, if not commands this practice still in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians 9:14 saying “So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel”.
2. Honoring the Creator as Owner of All
When we release a tenth of our income and give it over to the ministry and mission of Christ in the world, we honor the Creator rights of God who owns everything, including all our income. Psalm 24:1 says “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it. What you do with every cent says something (to yourself, to those around you, and to God) about your view of God and what He means to you. Giving God a tenth of our income does not deny that all our money is God’s, it proves that we believe it.
3. The Antidote to Covetousness
Giving away a tenth of our income to the mission and ministry of Christ is an antidote to covetousness. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have.” Every time you give a tithe, you must deal with the desire for what you might have bought for yourself. We must fight covetousness almost every day. Tithing is one of God’s great graces in that fight.
4. Governing Ever-Expanding Spending
When we give a tithe and beyond, it puts a governor on the ever-expanding spending that our society encourages. It is normal in the human life for expenses to inevitably expand to fill the income. As more money is made, more money is spent. So we must restrain ourselves from accumulating more and more stuff and more and more expensive stuff, and looking to the world like we have all the same values they do. So as your income grows, move beyond the tithe (10%). This puts the brakes on our natural impulse toward luxury and gives the blessings God has given us toward championing the things of Heaven.
5. God's Way of Bringing About Good Deeds
Our giving is God’s way of bringing about many good deeds for His glory. In 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, Paul writes about giving as sowing and reaping. The goal of what god gives you is found at the end of verse 8, you will “have an abundance for every good deed.” The goal is good deeds. Excess money is for good deeds. These are the things that make your light shine and cause people to give glory to your Father in heaven. If you lay up treasures on earth, people have no reason to think your Father in heaven is glorious. You look like you love what everyone else loves. Excess money is given to us so we can show where our treasure is by giving it away.
6. God's Way of Providing for You
Giving is a way of having what you need. Giving in a regular, disciplined, generous way is simply good sense in view of the promises of God. Verse 8 of 2 Corinthians 9 says, “God is able to make all grace abound to you that always having all sufficiency…” In other words, the “bountiful reaping” promised in verse 6 is explained in verse 8 by God’s pledge to give a sufficiency for us and an abundance for good deeds. Note, this is note a guarantee of getting rich. It’s a guarantee of sufficiency for yourself.
7. Proving and Strengthening Our Faith
Finally, in our giving we should press toward the tithe and beyond because it will prove and strengthen our faith in God’s promises. Every time you doubt that you can live on the 90% of your income, let the glorious promise of God strengthen your faith: “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Devote yourself to God. Trust God. He will never fail or forsake you. He will supply all your needs.