“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
Hello, I’m Greg Carter, longtime member and current Treasurer of Community of Faith. It can be an emotional topic, but today, I’m going to talk about giving and financial gifts.
Why do we give?
Throughout our 37 years of marriage, Beth and I have attended church regularly and steadily increased our giving over the years.
We’re grateful for the many blessings in our life - our children and grandchildren, the prosperity we enjoy in No. Va. and our financial gifts as well. As part of the stewardship season, after prayerful consideration, we make our pledge to the church, which allows the church to count on the offering and plan for it in its own budgeting process. As our income grew over the years, our offering grew proportionately.
We consciously decided years ago that our giving level would require personal sacrifice and “come off the top” of our income, rather than providing an offering from what’s left-over after all other expenditures. The value of most alternative uses of our financial gifts pale in comparison to the investment in our Church and the many blessings the congregation creates in the community.
According to Matthew 6:19-21, Jesus advised, “Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be”. Basically, your heart follows your money!
So, we’ve foregone some “things” -- lavish trips and expensive restaurants over the years, but we have more than enough of everything we need and have never looked back and questioned our offerings to the Church.
Are we responding to a need or releasing the blessings that we have been given?
It’s really both…the Church needs the offerings to preserve its excellent staff, keep the doors open and fund all the wonderful things it does to support our congregation and community and we are releasing blessings that we have been freely given.
Where have you witnessed God’s generosity in someone’s life that moved you closer to God?
I don’t know who gives what, but over the years, I have known some couples that publicly shared their personal faith journey and how tithing was an important part of it. It opened my eyes to understand how generosity is part of that faith journey and how it liberates the heart from money’s hold.
- When you give, are you responding to a need or releasing the blessings that you have been given?
- Where have you witnessed God’s generosity in someone’s life that moved you closer to God?
- God’s grace allows us to see the possibilities of God. How has grace caused you to witness God’s glory?
Lord, give us the ability to free ourselves from the allure of money and its control over our hearts. Help us follow your teachings and leverage our resources, our treasures, in a way that glorifies your kingdom and helps others in our community and the world. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.