I’ve been wanting to post up an example of church giving for a while now. I’ve often found that it is the more charismatic, and/or liberal churches that seem to speak more often and openly about church giving, and for everyone else it’s almost a taboo subject; given over to be a very very very personal ‘transaction‘ between the giver and God. Different people have different ways in which they financially contribute, so I thought I’d outline the method and theory that I’ve employed, as it seems to work well (for me at least).
Note: This is not me boasting about how good I am, rather it is a way that I hope to be helpful for those who are confused about, or not sure how to give (in principle). The bible says in Matthew 6:3,4 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. and in 2 Corinthians 9:7 7Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
I very much believe in the theology/principle of first-fruits, so when my pay comes in each month, I have set up automatically transfers with the bank for my church giving out on, or around that day. This makes it easy to give, but it can also make it easy to forget… So how do I make sure that I don’t forget it? I usually review it every couple of months, along with my overall finances. I find it really tempting to be spending more on things I want than giving to the church, so this review is often helpful.
How do I determine what is given? I use a percentage formulae in an excel spreadsheet to give me a general figure, and then I tweak that out a little. I’ve decided on a general percentage amount for my overall Church giving; this is then further broken down by percentage to target specific areas of the church. At Crossway Anglican Church the encouraged split is 80/10/10: 80% to the general church fund, 10% to Ministry Training Strategy, and 10% to mission work. On top of that, they also encourage giving to a gospel future fund which is used for things like Church Plants, or to set up new gospel strategies. My current split is actually 56/31/0 with the remaining 13 being put into the future of the gospel.
So there you go, I hope that is a help to at least some of you (Especially those who are just stepping out to work for the first time, or stepping up to regularly give). Feel free to ask any questions etc etc.