Ever wondered how a church survives financially? No outside subsidies, no hand-outs from the government; just Christians giving of their own free will.
The Bible shows us that Christians give because they want to give:
- They give because God has given so much to them – it is an act of worship.
- They give because it is a gift to be able to give – partnering with God in his work.
- They give because they are inspired by the cross of Jesus.
(See 2 Corinthians 8:1-9)
No arm twisting or manipulation but giving freely and enthusiastically.
The God-followers of the years before Jesus used to give 10% of their income in obedience to the law. The cross of Jesus has freed us from law, making us free to live by the Spirit and therefore to the greater call to give generously. Generosity is what happens when cheerfulness and sacrifice collide. The great thing is, generosity is good for us. All we have comes from God and he is no man’s debtor. There is no greater privilege than to be involved in furthering the work of God’s kingdom with all we are and that includes our finance.
For that reason, Christians throughout the last 2000 years have given to the church and to other ministries and needs in order that people might hear and respond to the message of Jesus and know his transforming power. And the same is true today.
As with everything today, the running of a church, the purchasing and maintaining of equipment, salaries, resources for the Children’s and Youth work, Toddlers, giving to overseas mission, etc. all require funding.
You can be a partner in these important areas of church life by giving sacrificially, generously and cheerfully and you may want to give to other important ministries and causes too.
So, why not use 10% of your income as an initial guide? You may be able to give more and you may genuinely need to give less, but either way make up your mind before God to be generous.
Why not give consistently so the church can plan ahead, knowing how far our resources will stretch? Why not do that tax efficiently (where appropriate) and fill in a gift aid form?
So often we live to our ‘means’, so what might you give up in order to give more?
As part of our response to this, an offering is taken during most morning services. We invite those who are committed to the church’s work to contribute – we don’t want visitors to feel pressurised into contributing, the offering is not a substitute for an entrance fee! You can also give regularly by envelope having obtained a years supply of envelopes from the church finance team – for some, a helpful way to remember to be consistent in giving each week.
However, many members of the congregation find it easier to set up standing orders so that they give a regular amount to the church’s work. Doing this means the church can plan ahead and grow knowing how far our resources will stretch. It is easier to set budgets and plan for new ministries, to support missionaries or to share Jesus in the area knowing we have the funds to support it. A standing order form can be downloaded by CLICKING HERE or a copy can be obtained from the church office or at the back of the sanctuary.
UK tax payers can increase the value of their donations to the church funds by using the “Gift Aid” system. This enables the church to recover the basic rate tax paid on the sum given – effectively it means that for every £4 given under gift aid the church can get an extra £1 back. This system simply requires a gift aid declaration to be made and then for the donations to be made in a way which is traceable to the donor. This can be by bank standing order or by using numbered envelopes which are placed in the Sunday morning offerings. The gift aid scheme is administered separately so that a degree of confidentiality is maintained – The elders (and indeed even the treasurer!) don’t know the specifics of individual donations made under gift aid, just the total amounts received and the extra income that results. Further information and a gift aid declaration form can be downloaded by CLICKING HERE or a copy can be obtained from the church office or at the back of the sanctuary.