How Much Should I Give to My Church?
A Christian friend from another state recently asked me, “how much money should our family be giving to our church?”
This is a good question...an important question. Especially, when you understand that everything we have (including our money) belongs to the Lord, not us, and we are accountable to God to steward IT ALL for His purposes. It’s all His.
Without going into an in depth study on the topic (which you should do if you never have...and I can recommend some great resources if you need them), the Bible teaches that we as Christ-followers are called to give sacrificially to our local church to support the ongoing work of ministry and missions in and through our congregation. The key word here is SACRIFICIAL.
For most Christians, historically, that has meant giving at least 10% (a tithe) of our income back to our local church. If you are not giving that presently, this is a good percentage to work toward. For those who are blessed with more financially, and giving 10% is really no sacrifice at all, it means giving a higher percentage than that. Sacrificial giving means just that....it should be a true sacrifice. We ought to feel it. True sacrificial giving should cause us to give up certain things in order to give more to God. True, sacrificial giving ought to cause us to exercise deeper faith and trust in the Lord and His work. My concern is that for many Christians in our day, because many of us don’t sacrificially give to God as part of our lifestyle, one of the consequences is that our faith and trust in Him is anything but radical. It is immature at best, near absent at worst. As Jesus said, no one can serve two masters...you cannot serve both God and money (Matt. 6:24).
And by the way, sacrificial giving should be a joy for the Christian and not a burden. It is a joy because we know that the more of the world we strip away, the more material things we can disconnect our hearts from, the more of Christ we experience...and only Christ can really satisfy our souls! Only Christ is King and as King He rightly demands our ALL, and that includes our money and our “stuff.”
So, how are you and your family doing in this area of sacrificial giving? Is this an area where you need to grow and mature? Perhaps this is something you need to bring humbly before the Lord, to ask Him honestly what it looks like for you and your family to become sacrificial givers to your local church body. Maybe you need to talk with a pastor or a godly, spiritually mature friend about it. The most important thing in all of this is your heart...what are you attached to? What do you love, really? What do you treasure? The Lord is looking at our hearts. What does He see?
Life is short, eternity is long. May we be cheerful givers in this life as we prepare for the next! And may we teach and model this for our children that they may do the same.
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” - 2 Corinthians 9:6-7