In my previous role as a Foundation Executive, I was often asked, “Why should I give to the church?” My answer often shocked the questioner, “You shouldn’t”. Now, before the Finance Committee prepares to have me tarred and feathered, let me explain.
Giving, whether time or money, is not so that the institution of the church can meet its expenses or have a balanced budget. Rather, making a contribution is a worshipful expression of your personal acknowledgement of God as the source of life itself. None of us has grown to adulthood on our own without the assistance of others. Though our tech-focused world puts forth the sacred goals of privacy and independence, we are beholden to an ever-expanding community that nurtures us and our families every day.
For me, giving has been a matter of perspective. How can I spend money on a Saturday evening for a nice dinner and only give to the community of faith what I have added as a tip? We have accepted as a guide 15–20% as a customary benchmark for what we should provide our server, but what is our benchmark for what we provide for the community of faith to minister to a hurting world?
The church is simply the vehicle that provides a way to reach out to our neighbors and the global community in need.
So, DON’T GIVE TO THE CHURCH! Give to God through the church as an expression of the abundant life that we have received, and the community that cares for us!