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General giving “Tithes & Offerings”

BSB: 306-085

Acc:  4195782

To be one of God’s redeemed people is undoubtedly the greatest treasure we possess! We are headed to an eternal kingdom where we will enjoy a perfect relationship with our Heavenly Father forever. This is ours at immeasurable cost to our Lord – He willingly gave everything for our sake. How does one respond to such a loving sacrifice? Paul calls on the Corinthian church to excel in giving with these words:

But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

2 Corinthians 8:7, 9

 

Why Should I Give?

1. God’s Generosity

God has given us His undeserved generosity – as His children this should motivate us to be generous givers too.

2. God Owns Everything

Giving is an appropriate acknowledgement that our wealth belongs to God and has been given to us as a gift. Since what we have comes from Him it follows that we are responsible to support His work with His money. King David reflects this thinking as he thanks the Lord for the support provided toward building the temple.

14 “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you and of your own have we given you……………. 16 O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.

1 Chronicles 29v14-16

 3. God’s Command

  • We are to provide for the poor in our Christian communities. (Romans 15:25-27)
  • We are to support those whose work it is to preach and teach. This would include the infrastructure around our pastors such as building and administration costs. (1 Corinthians 9:3-14)

 

How Much Should I Give?

Under the old covenant law of ancient Israel an annual “tithe” was required for the support of the temple and its staff. A tithe was one tenth of the increase in produce, flocks and herds. In addition, freewill offerings were to be given.

Christians are under the new covenant which has no hard and fast rule about giving.  Nevertheless, the tithe of the Old Testament is a helpful guide to many believers. The New Testament is far more radical because it calls on us to be generous and sacrificial in our giving. We see Jesus commend the widow who gave a few coins that came out of money she needed to live on. The others present were not commended despite giving large sums because they gave out of their surplus. (Mark 12v41-44)

So, less than 10% may be quite generous for some whereas for others a greater percentage might not be generous at all.

How much is generous is to be determined by each believer – no one else can tell us how much to give. Paul is clear in his second letter to the Corinthians that the believer should “give as he has decided in his heart”. (2 Corinthians 9v7)

As children of the living God, who seek to worship and honour Him, it is appropriate that we regularly re-examine our giving. Circumstances change and what may have been generous once may no longer be the case.

 

How Should I Give?

Regular Giving

Every believer should take the time to prayerfully consider how much they are going to give out of their annual budget. The most helpful way to then give is to commit to a regular amount. This will help you to be faithful in worshipping God with your giving. It will also help the finance committee with their planning because of the weekly / monthly pattern that becomes evident.

Some people give via the weekly collection on Sundays but probably the most helpful way to commit to honouring the Lord with your giving is to set up a regular payment arrangement with your bank.  This can easily be done via online banking. This way you won’t forget to attend to your commitment and it eases the church’s administration burden around managing cash.

If you would like to set up a regular online payment please remember to fill in the all-important narrative which assists our bookkeeper in correctly applying your deposit. At the present time, “tithes and offerings” are to be paid to our Bankwest cheque account – details appear at the beginning of this article.

One-off Gifts

From time to time the Lord may enable you to give over and above the amount you have committed to give each year. You may wish to put this into the general fund or special projects like the Renovation Fund, the Ministry Training Fund (for WPC Interns and theology students) and MTS (our ministry apprenticeship program)

Giving to the Renovation Fund and the Ministry Training Fund can be made to our general bank account shown above, with the appropriate description:

Renovation Fund – “Renovation Fund”

Ministry Training Fund – “MT Fund”

Giving to MTS (for apprentices) should be paid directly to MTS for tax deductibility status.  Further information is available from the church office.

Legacies

There are endless possibilities for Gospel work that a church like WPC Bull Creek can undertake if the funds existed. If we are to effectively reach our city and further afield we need to recruit, train and deploy new pastors, ministry workers and missionaries. Have you considered how your will might empower the expansion of God’s kingdom?

If you would like to make a bequest to Westminster Presbyterian Church Bull Creek Inc please contact your solicitor.

 

Frequent Questions & Comments

1. I already give generously to a number of other Christian organisations and charities – I can’t afford to give to the local church as well.

If you benefit from the ministry of your local church then it must have the first claim on your giving.  The local church community is where the mission of the church begins.  If local churches collapse so will the missions out in the world.

2. I don’t have much of an income – I don’t think I should be asked to give.

The principle in Scripture is clear – we should all be prepared to give from what God has given us, no matter how small.  What matters is our commitment.

3. I would like my giving to remain anonymous.

All staff of WPC Bull Creek are required to sign a confidentiality agreement which is strictly adhered to. The Treasurer and members of the Finance Committee adhere to the church’s policy on confidentiality.

4. The church is always asking for money.

This is often because God’s people are not giving faithfully leaving the church under-resourced. We should not think of the church as “them” verses “us”.  The church is not the building, nor the leaders and staff, nor the denomination.  The church is all the people of God and all God’s people are meant to be in committed Gospel partnership, sharing the burden of the work. (Philippians 1v3-5)

5. How will my giving be spent?

Around April each year, the Finance Committee makes requests to our ministry leaders to start thinking about their funding requirements for the next financial year.  When the information is received, the Finance Committee prepares a draft budget which is presented to Session for their approval.  At the AGM in August, the budget is then presented to the members for their endorsement.

Giving to the general budget is used for the running costs of the church – for costs such as salaries, maintenance, ministry resources and utility bills.  Also, over 12% of this goes directly to missions.  Please note that any monies given for a specified purpose will only be used for that purpose.

Funds that we have for long-service leave provision and the stipend reserve fund are invested and the church benefits from the interest earned. The Members of the Finance Committee endeavour to be good stewards of the Lord’s money.

For some time, we have published the weekly offering figures in the News Notes to provide members and adherents with the necessary information that will assist us all in prayerfully considering our giving to the work at Bull Creek.