Giving is one of the many ways we participate in the work of Christ's kingdom; it is an important and necessary component of the life of the church! In In the OT the people had whole feasts devoted to the act of giving, bringing the "firstfruits" of the harvest to the Lord with thanks. We give with our time, with our Spiritual gifts, and with our tithes and financial offerings. What is more, we don't give out of mere duty or necessity; no, we give in joy and thanksgiving as an act of worship. As Paul puts it:
One must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
The tithe is not only a biblical command, but a Divine blessing and a joy!
While we would still encourage our members to "bring your offering" to the Lord (Deut. 12:6), we also recognize that many of our members and supporters have different needs when it comes to giving. We therefore now offer the opportunity to give online. Simply click the button below and follow the instructions. The service we use will allow you to make one-time gifts or schedule weekly or semi-regular giving amounts. You can also give to the general fund, or to the building or deacons fund.
Our Philosophy of Online Giving
The following is from an article that originally appeared in the Spring 2017 CTK Newsletter:
How do I give?
One would expect the biblical answer to this question to include adverbs such as: generously, cheerfully, gratefully, freely, faithfully and regularly. For the record those are good words and indeed, we should apply them all! Today, however, I am addressing the mechanics and context of giving. We are introducing electronic giving to the church and this requires us to think through these issues once again.
Why offer electronic giving?
The answer to this question is uncomplicated. As we all know, banking and money management have changed greatly over the years. We are offering electronic giving for convenience and flexibility. We hope to make is easier for people to give regularly to the church and to provide options for different types of contributions that are sometimes made. To be clear, we will continue to accept check and cash offerings as usual. We are adding electronic giving, not removing any current giving methods.
Is giving electronically good and biblical?
This is an important question and the elders and deacons of the church have wrestled with it as we made the decision to introduce electronic giving. Our instinctive answer might be “why wouldn’t it be? What’s wrong with giving online?” Remember, though, that giving to the local church isn’t the same as giving to a standard charity; for us it is primarily an act of corporate worship.
The presentation of our tithes and offerings is not done in worship for convenience, but out of conviction. Scripture, the Westminster Confession and our Presbyterian Book of Church Order affirm the place of giving in worship. While offering the option of electronic giving, the elders and deacons nevertheless want to encourage you to continue to participate in the physical and heart act of giving during corporate worship.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of giving electronically?
Giving is a good thing to do. But like every good gift of God, it can be corrupted. We can be stingy and give begrudgingly – “Here they go again, asking for my hard-earned-money.” We can give as if we are paying a bill or our taxes – “I don’t like it, but I have to do it.” Giving can also become a thoughtless routine like so many others. We do it without really thinking about it. In my own experience with giving to various organizations electronically, this is even more of a danger. Writing a check at least provides a regular reminder to pray, recognize what we are doing and even think about how much we are giving. When it is done “automatically” I am more tempted to forget.
We all need to be aware of this temptation and avoid it. If you choose to give electronically, whether occasionally or regularly, then please take the time to do so thankfully, in a spirit of worship and with prayer (1 Tim 4:4-5). If you are a family with children, take the time to explain this to your children, lest it seem to them that you don’t contribute anything when the offering is taken during worship. (Yes, they are watching.) Teach them to give early and show them by your example and explanation. As the offering is taken in worship, take a moment to pray with thanksgiving over what you’ve given even if it did not happen at that actual moment.
Why We Give and How We Give
If you need a reminder of the grace of giving, may I suggest a quick read of Deut 14:22-29. In this passage the connections are made clear between God’s provision, our tithing, worship and rejoicing in the Lord. The passage even describes some flexibility in the mechanics of giving depending on where you live with reference to Jerusalem. If you lived in or near Jerusalem you brought your actual produce to the temple as a tithe. Whereas if that was impractical because you lived too far away, then you sold your produce, took the money with you to Jerusalem and then bought provisions in Jerusalem for your tithe. That pragmatic instruction regarding the tithe has been an important part of our considerations regarding electronic giving! If you are not in the habit of giving generously in worship, you need to think through this carefully. We have a command to honor the Lord through our giving and in particular to the local church community of which we are a part (see vs 28).
We are about to have some unique opportunities to challenge ourselves in sacrificial giving. The building committee will be introducing the plans for Phase-2 renovations this Sunday. The plans are ambitious. We are seeking to be faithful stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. It will take sacrificial offering to see these plans through to completion. As you think and pray through the opportunity and then give, may you learn to fear the Lord always (Deut 14:23) and rejoice (14:26) that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do (14:29).
And a little child shall lead them…
After the Sunday service a parent brought their very young child up to me. Through a Sunday school lesson, she had learned about helping her parents, and now she wanted to help the church. Her mom wrote down these words as they were dictated to her:
To church, From _______
I love church.
This is my church. I like to help my church by spending my money for the church.
This is my church. I would love to help my church by spending my money to buy things for my church.
It was clear that my responsibility in the conversation was to hear her commitment, thank her and come-up with something concrete “to buy”. If you know me, my answer won’t surprise you. I suggested that she buy some flowers that we could plant outside of the church in the spring. Her face brightened with delight at the prospect and she said, “Ooh!”
Dear adults – go to the child. See the simple delight at the simple act. Imitate her.
- Eric Huber