Today I want to take a minute to focus on one aspect of church life: giving.
Some of you may not be aware that all the funds that are required for our church to operate and to pay the bills come from the resources and the generosity of the people of MPC.
Some of our income comes from the rental of church property and facilities. But the majority of our funds come from the people, you guys, giving toward the ministry.
Each year around October/November we have a congregational meeting to decide on the budget for the following year. And to choose members of our congregation who will look after our finances and facilities for the next year.
Each year in March we have a congregational meeting to receive an auditor’s report making sure that our money was handled appropriately.
In the past it was a feature of the weekly church service to have the collection plate passed around the congregation. It was a helpful reminder about the place of giving in the Christian life.
Over time technology and the way we use money has changed. We hardly use or carry cash anymore, just a tap of a card or our phone. In keeping with these changes and probably as an impact of COVID as well the bulk of our giving is now done through electronic funds transfer.
This has some very positive aspects.
Generally EFT is more regular and predictable – easier for our treasurer to manage cash flow. You don’t have to remember to bring cash to church, or only give whatever happens to be in your pocket that day. You still give if you are away on holidays, etc.
There are some negatives too
Once you’ve set up direct deposit you may not think to regularly review your giving amount. It makes giving a less visible feature of church life.
So we wanted to address that.
Giving is the overflow of our joy in God. Giving is a response and thanksgiving to God because of all that God has given to us. We are generous because God has been generous to us. We are convinced that the gospel is the only hope for our world and so we want to make sure that gospel ministry and mission is happening.
Paul teaches about generosity in 2 Corinthians 8-9. Here’s what he says in 2 Cor 8 “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 Cor 8:9).
Paul uses the incarnation, Jesus stepping down from heaven to come to earth as a man as an example to foster generosity in followers of Jesus.
The expectation is that if you are committed to MPC as your church family then you will give thoughtfully and generously. In OT the standard is ten percent. In NT the standard is generosity. When I was growing up the understanding in our church was that ten percent was the minimum and then generosity began. But really, the figure is between you and God. As followers of Jesus we give generously to the ministry and mission of the gospel and to those in need.
What should you do now?
If you are giving – review regularly and prayerfully. If you are not giving at the moment – let me encourage you to prayerfully
attend to that. If you’re visiting with us today – we are not after your money; but it is helpful for you to know the different aspects of being a follower of Jesus.
As you may have noticed the CoM gives regular updates on how our budget is tracking. That info comes out with the bulletin. We will endeavour, if appropriate to have that on our website as well. We are thankful for the church’s generosity in May when the budgeted figure was met.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the
air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather…
This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped…
2 Co 8–9
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they…
I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought…
1 Ti 6:6–19
But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless…
- Beyond Greed by Rory Shiner
- The Good Life in the Last Days by Mikey Lynch
- Neither Poverty nor Riches by Craig Blomberg
How can you give.
- Purple bucket on the way out of the building – if you give by cash
- EFT details are available on our website on the Giving page.
- Bank details
- Paypal option