An Act of Worship
Biblically, the principle for Christian giving is to joyfully return back to the Lord a portion of all that He has given us – both as an expression of gratitude and as an acknowledgement that all things come from Him. Jesus, in fact, encourages us to be generous and boldly tells us that God measures to us according to the measure we give. As we consider the abundant generosity that the Lord has showered upon us – beginning with salvation – the question that arises is, “does my giving reflect my gratitude?”
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21). Our giving should be viewed as a part of our worship to the Lord. If we give only to check off a task from our spiritual to-do list, we are missing out on deeper fellowship and communion with God and the great joy of being a cheerful giver. Paul elaborates on how generous giving is an act of worship:
- Those who follow Jesus should excel in the grace of giving.
- Giving is an expression of the love one has for Jesus.
- God loves willing and cheerful givers.
- A willingness to be generous in giving is more important than the amount given.
- Our giving will result in praise and thanksgiving to God.
- Our giving should be a natural response to God’s gracious gift to mankind. (2 Cor. 8-9)
In light of what Christ has done for us, why would we not want to give Him our best?
Growth in Generosity
New or Occasional Giver
If you haven’t yet given for the first time to the mission of God through St. Andrew’s or you give once in awhile, you might consider the following actions:
- Budget for giving in the same way you would other monthly expenses.
- Proactively schedule when you are going to give on your calendar.
- Set-up a recurring gift through the online giving pages or your own bank’s bill pay.
If you think of giving in the same way as other expenses in your budget and make a regular donation to the church after your bills are paid, you might consider the following actions:
- Plan to give out of first fruits rather than leftovers by choosing a regular amount that would represent a new level of giving for you in keeping with your income. (Proverbs 3:9; Deuteronomy 26:2-4).
- Budget giving as a top priority in your monthly planning.
- Look at the dollars you are not giving and prayerfully consider if God is asking you to give more.
You may no longer be thinking, “What am I supposed to give?” but rather “What am I not giving and why?” If you already give back to God a generous portion of what He has blessed you with because you recognize that God is the owner, and you are the manager, you might consider the following actions:
- Evaluate if your giving has become too comfortable or a routine. Is your level of giving requiring sacrifice? (2 Samuel 24:24).
- Think about how increasing your giving could stretch and grow your faith.
- Prayerfully consider giving above and beyond your usual portion to support ministry growth.
If you are thinking past this year and moving toward long-term impact for your local church, your family, and eternity, you may be considering the impact that every personal asset has on your ability to be generous. You might consider the following actions:
- Set a lifetime generosity goal for your family.
- Talk to your financial advisor about making a gift from your estate to support kingdom work.
- Leverage your own journey of giving to encourage and inspire generosity in the next generation. (Proverbs 13:22)
You can use this calculator to determine where you would like to be in order to answer to the question “does my giving reflect my gratitude?” Your campaign commitment can be part of your overall plan of increased worship through generosity. Remember that a campaign commitment is in addition to your annual stewardship contribution.