Biblical Giving

Pastor Peter shared a finance-related Note from the Pastor in the October 3, 2010 Sun (see below).  He also shared a sermon on Sep 19th, 2010 on Riches.  From that sermon, the following Scripture passages were shared:

How To Live Wisely With Money:

  1. spend less than you earn (Hebrews 13:5)
  2. avoid debt (Proverbs 22:7)
  3. maintain liquidity (Proverbs 21:20)
  4. set long term goals (Proverbs 16:3)
  5. excel in the grace of giving (II Corinthians 8:7)  

 

In addition, Pastor Peter shared a message on Ten Apples to help provide a visual demonstration of what Biblical giving looks like.

 

Note from the Pastor, October 3, 2010

   Ten years ago, Marja and I made it our goal to grow in the grace of giving. Like our parents before us, we had always contributed to the church budget. But we wanted to do better. So we took a Bible based course on managing money, began to practice principles similar to the five published here, and saw a huge difference in our ability to support the vision of our church and the building of our facility.
   To make sure that our previous church and Hope Fellowship could operate without financial worries, we ensured our regular giving by providing the church twelve post-dated checks every year. When the pre-authorized debit (P.A.D.) system was introduced at Hope Fellowship several years ago, we immediately jumped on board. It gives us peace of mind to know that a monthly amount is regularly deducted from our bank account for Hope Fellowship’s operating expenses, even when we’re on a vacation.
   Knowing how our money is used motivates us to keep giving God our first fruits, not our leftovers. Let me lay it out for you as simply as I can so that you will feel motivated to join us in faithful budget donations.
   Roughly one third of our church budget goes towards facilities and programs. One third goes towards salaries and stipends. And the final third is sent away as ministry shares that support the ministries all the Christian Reformed Churches in North America have covenanted to do together. Specifically, one third covers the mortgage, maintenance, and material. Another third pays the pastor, administrative secretary, six zone co-ordinators, treasurer and custodians. And the final third goes to CRC missionaries, church planters, campus chaplains, broadcasting ministries, youth organizations, our seminary, and other denominational ministries.
   Our leadership has decided to hold a budget catch-up offering, if needed, at the end of every quarter. I support this decision because Hope Fellowship is committed to keeping the financial promises we made when we adopted the budget. But I hope that catching up every three months won’t be necessary. How much better it would be if all of us cheerfully signed up with a system of regular contributions so that we’d never fall behind but actually find ourselves ahead and able to do more.
   Only once in my life has a treasurer shown me what a family was giving to the church. In my first congregation, I learned that the poorest family in our church family faithfully gave the same small budget contribution every month. It was an odd amount, like $41.66. When I expressed curiosity about the amount, the treasurer explained that they had decided to give $500 each year and that’s what it worked out to per month. Despite their poverty, because of their decision and disciplined giving, at the end of each year they gave more than others who were better off.
   I pray that everyone who appreciates Hope Fellowship’s vision and mission would be similarly committed to regular giving to the church budget. To help you in this discipline, why not use our church’s pre-authorized debit system? Ipads or Blackpads are cool. But “HopeP.A.D” represents peace of mind for both the giver and the church, not to mention a ton of blessings for those we seek to bring into a living relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Pastor Peter  


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