Giving as a Response to God

I have heard several comments regarding the report that only 37% of our congregation’s families give regularly to church. (The actual number of families this percentage represents is 88 out of 233.) It is my desire to see this number increase in 2009. Although we talked about tithing two weeks ago; I recognize the difficulty of moving from 0% regular giving to 10%. I think a better strategy is to first develop the habit of regular giving and then move toward generosity.

On the plus side we did find that 68% of the congregation gave at least one recordable contribution in 2008. I know that some contribute cash only (which is not recordable) so we could realistically bump that percentage up a little. This is the group that I would like to encourage to move from sporadic giving to regular contributing. The difference is truly amazing. Say, for instance, that one gives a one time contribution of $500. That is a wonderful gift and will certainly help the congregation’s financial needs. However, if that same person gave just $25 a week by year’s end they would have contributed $1300 for the year.

That the church needs money is obvious since we function only by the generosity of our members. However, if this becomes the primary motivation for one’s giving – one will give based on whether or not one perceives that the church needs money. The past two weeks we have talked about two other biblical motivations for financial giving: 1) Giving as an expression of faith; and 2) Giving as a response to God. May 2009 be the year that all of us stretch our faith and give in a way that tells God we are truly appreciative for all that He has given for us.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.

Comments

3 Responses to “Giving as a Response to God”

  1. avatar Tommytwotoez says:

    Ever since I was a teenager, I have always given cash during the collection. The only problem in this, in today’s age, is that I rarely have cash on me, I do need to grow up a little more and leave the cash giving behind me.
    I know we just started these sermons on “giving as a response to faith and to God”, but I can clearly see that I need to improve and drop the old habits that I have developed as a teenager.
    I guess you can say, I need to man up and put my money where my faith is! just imagine what we as a congregation can do if we test God by giving him our full faith.
    thank you Byron for continuing these great sermons, and adding strength to my faith.

  2. avatar Jeremy says:

    I used to have a professor who would gently remind us that we should “set apart WEEKLY”. I had always been of the mind that I make my budget on a monthly basis, therefore I would just give a lump sum once a month. However, after much thought, perhaps there is an advantage to giving weekly. It brings to mind more often what God has done for us and reminds us to respond and put God to the test on a weekly basis. I’m still not perfect in this, especially since I hardly every use cash and rarely use a check. I guess it’s a process.

  3. avatar Byron says:

    You make a good argument for weekly giving. I would hope that all of us can view our giving as a worshipful response to God. Weekly giving could very well be one way to do that.

    Personally I have developed the habit of giving out of every paycheck. Since I pay bills online through my bank, I simply added church as one of my payments. Since I get 27 paychecks in a year, I give the church 27 contributions.

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