Financial Giving, it’s a topic no-one naturally wants to talk about and yet Jesus, in his usual way, always brings up the topics we don’t want to talk about. If it wasn’t for Jesus we wouldn’t have to talk about hell, financial giving, sexual ethics and all those other hot potatoes. I guess the reason he does is because he wants our whole being to be fully submitted to him…mind, body and soul.
So here are five reasons for you to think about financial giving and it is a companion to a longer paper on the biblical principles that should govern our giving.
(1) Because Jesus talks about money all the time.
You can’t read the Gospels and not feel the call of Christ to rethink your finances, to live more generously, more simply and more contentedly. He says you can’t worship two masters, you have to choose between God and money (Matthew 6:24). He says that a rich man was in hell partly due to his greed (Luke 16:19-31). He meets Zacchaeus the tax collector and his life is transformed and the key fruit of that inner transformation is that his heart changes from a greedy selfish heart to a generous joyful heart (Luke 19:1-10). He talks about the relative value of the rich people who gave a little of their money just for show versus the poor widow who gave all her money, even though that was a very small amount, out of devotion to God (Mark 12:41-44) And so on and so forth.
So we should give because it’s a sign we’re making Jesus Lord of our finances.
(2) Because we’re to pay for people to be released into ‘full time ministry’.
One of the things we cherish at Christ City Church is that you don’t have to be paid or in an official position to actively participate in church life. However, there is still a good principle that runs through scripture that setting people aside to work full time in church activities can be a good thing. In the Old Testament the Levites didn’t receive a share of the land because they were to work full time in the temple and therefore lived off the tithes of the other Israelites. In Luke 10:7 Jesus, quoting the Old Testament Law, says “a worker deserves his wages” when he sends out the Apostles. And then Paul picks up on this in 1 Timothy 5:17-18 and 1 Corinthians 9:7-12 when speaking about full time elders and travelling evangelists and apostles.
So we should give because we want to release people to be able to do different tasks in and for the church that need more time.
(3) Because it’s one of the ways we belong to the family, the church.
In the Old Testament there is a great moment of financial giving in order to build the temple (1 Chronicles 29) and in the New Testament there is a collection for the church in Jerusalem during a famine (1 Corinthians 16:1-4 and 2 Corinthians 8-9). Additionally, in the early church we see the richer Christians giving money and possessions to the poorer Christians so that everyone had enough (Acts 2:42-46 and Acts 4:32-37).
So we should give because it’s part of belonging to a family and shows our commitment to the family.
(4) Because it’s good for our hearts
In line with point 1 and all Jesus’ teaching about money, it seems that it is a good discipline to give regularly, proportionately and generously in order that money doesn’t have a hold on us. Money has the power to promise, though not fully deliver, security, significance and satisfaction. If I have money I don’t need to worry. I can feel like I am worth something and I can be satisfied and enjoy life. So the discipline of giving reminds us that our security, significance and satisfaction lie in Jesus. Even if you’re a student, it’s a good discipline to give even €10 a month, by standing order, to get into the discipline of giving even when money is tight.
So we should give to show (to ourselves and God!) that we’re trusting Jesus for the future and not making an idol out of money.
(5) Because without money the church can’t grow
Clearly God can do anything. But if we’re to see Christ City Church grow and fulfil its vision of being a community that lives for the spiritual, cultural and social blessing of Dublin then we’re going to need finances. Do read the earlier post, Acts 6: A Church in Transition, about making necessary changes to facilitate church growth.
So we should give so that we can move forward as a church in being committed to the city of Dublin and its flourishing.
- Speak to Steve if you have any questions about financial giving and do read our paper on the biblical principles of giving – Giving at Christ City Church
- Look at this bible study and discussion on the topic with your Life Group or City Group
- Speak to Justin Anderson (our treasurer and the only person who knows who gives in Christ City Church) about giving, or download our How to Give leaflet.
- Prayerfully consider what you might be able to give to Christ City Church