We may or may not be aware of giving for the sake of the gospel of God. This page will help you work out what this means in practice, showing how to give, how to work out what you will give and to which ministry.
We have received God’s ultimate generosity in the death of his Son, who ‘though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor, so that through his poverty we might become rich’ (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Our Partnership in God’s Gospel
As God’s people, we are all ‘partners’ in the growth and spread of the Gospel (Philippians 1:3-7), not just in our local area, but in all the world (Matthew 28:18-20). We are partners through our prayers, through our time, through our encouragement, through our suffering, through sharing in God’s grace together, and in many other ways.
Giving for God’s Gospel
One aspect of this partnership is our financial partnership, i.e. supporting the growth of the Gospel with our money. Being committed to give regularly helps achieve our church goals for the growth of the gospel in Gungahlin and beyond.
Step 1 — How Much Should I Give?
The Scriptures say that God’s people should give because:
- Giving is a grateful response to the generosity of God, shown in the death of his Son (2 Corinthians 8-9). As we learn contentment with generosity, we are freed from the idolatry of greed to grow in godliness, serving God instead of serving money (Matthew 6:24; Hebrews 13:5; 1 Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19; Colossians 3:5-6)
- We are partners in God’s gospel (Philippians 1:3-7).
- We have an obligation to provide for those who labour amongst us in the Lord and teach us God’s word (1 Corinthians 9; 1 Timothy 5:17-18).
- We also have an obligation to provide for the needy. Jesus said: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. (Matthew 22:39; Galatians 6:10; James 2)
Working out how much to give—the principles
In the Old Testament, God’s people were commanded to give a tenth (‘tithe’) of all their produce to God in joyful response to his generous blessing to them. The idea of giving a tenth is first seen in Abraham and Jacob (Genesis 14; 28), and then made explicit in the Law of Moses (Numbers 18; Deuteronomy 12; 14; 26; 2 Chronicles 31; Malachi 3). Much of the tithe went towards supporting the priests who served them in God’s work, and from them to the poor in the community.
As in the era of the Old Testament, so now in the new, we are stewards, not owners of the good things God has given us. If we truly understand the gospel, we will long to see God’s gospel advanced and cheerfully give as much as we can!
The New Testament doesn’t stipulate percentages, but challenges us with the principles of generosity, partnership, obligation and love. So how much should we give? A tenth is a good starting point for considering how generous we can be, not a legalistic rule or figure we must absolutely stick to. The more fundamental question to ponder is this: how much have we received from God?
Paul provides some practical examples for the Christians in the church at Corinth:
- On the first day of each week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come, no collections will have to be made.’ (1 Corinthians 16:2)
- Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. (2 Corinthians 9:6)
- Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly, or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Working out how much to give—the practicalities
Work out how much money you have to start with. Then prayerfully decide what percentage you wish to give. So, for example, someone who has calculated they have a total annual income of $50,000, and have decided to set aside 9% will end up giving $4,500 annually (or $375 per month). The point here is that it is important to give in a thoughtful way. Some will give whatever is left in their wallet or purse at the end of the weekend, but the purpose of this page, in line with the teaching of Scripture, is to help you plan for your giving in a regular manner.
Step 2 — To Whom Should I Give? The Principle
In the Old Testament, the Israelite tithe was channeled by God to those who needed it—to the priests and Levites who had no other source of income because of their duties, and to the poor of the land.
We see a similar pattern in the New Testament, where Christian giving is directed to meeting the needs of those who labour amongst us in the Lord (pastors/staff), as well as towards the poor. As Paul says: ‘Let him who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches … so then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially to those who are of the household of faith’ (Galatians 6:6-10).
This will mean that we ought to direct our money towards our local church, the work of the gospel further afield and to the poor. Accordingly you might like to take the amount you calculated at step 1 and divide it between these three areas.
Gungahlin Anglican Church
The ministry of Gungahlin Anglican Church receives its support from the giving of those who attend. Therefore, the largest proportion of our gift should go towards supporting the ministry from which we benefit at our church. This includes our aim that others may benefit from the work of the gospel in our local area, that more people may know and be transformed by the love of Jesus together with us.
‘Further Afield’ and the Poor
We would encourage you to give in these areas as well as to the local church. Our external giving as a church is divided among these organisations in different proportions. You can also earmark a gift ‘aid for those in need’ to allow the ministry team to use those funds to assist needy people in our church and community. There may be other Christian organisation that you wish to support, however, as a ‘rule of thumb’ we suggest you allocate the smallest percentage of your total gift to ministry to those outside the local church.
Step 3 — How can I give?
Many people will already be using automated or electronic means to pay bills or make loan repayments, but have you thought about using it to support gospel work at your own church? The Bible encourages us to give in a planned, regular and generous manner (See 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 and 2 Corinthians 8, 9). Having decided what we will give, an automated giving arrangement will help to keep us regular in our giving to gospel work at Gungahlin Anglican, rather than trying to remember to withdraw extra cash or write a cheque, your giving happens automatically.
As peoples’ giving can be more regular and predictable, it helps our church to meet and manage the budget we have all agreed upon, and plan for growth. Even if your income is irregular, giving via internet banking transfer lends itself to flexibility, should the amount you wish to give vary. The various automated electronic options also have the benefits of reducing cash counting effort and improved cash security.
To help you give regularly and thoughtfully, we therefore recommend the following –
Electronic methods – Internet Banking: You can set up a regular funds transfer direct to Gungahlin Anglican Church using internet banking.
Taking Action: Use your internet banking to set up a regular payment Gungahlin Anglican Church bank account (details provided in the weekly church bulletin.)
Planned Giving: You authorise the parish to debit from your bank account and transfer the money to Gungahlin Anglican Church.
Periodic Payments: You instruct your bank to make a regular transfer direct to Gungahlin Anglican Church. Fees: Check with your Bank for fees charged.
Taking Action: We can get a prefilled form from the major banks with our parish details included, for you to complete and return to your bank. Alternatively you may visit your bank to obtain a form, fill it in and return it to your bank.
Cash: Of course you can still give in cash in the bags on a Sunday. Anonymous dated envelopes may also be used to help you give regularly – simply take a box. Mark the back of a mission envelope for giving to mission to show how this is to be distributed (unmarked mission portions are directed to CMS).
Other Ideas: You may wish to ask your employer to direct a specific portion of your pay to the Church Bank Account; you may also wish to make a lasting contribution to the work of the gospel by leaving a bequest in your will (naturally you should speak to a solicitor about this option).