Why give money away?
Because by doing so we get to share in God’s generosity and partner with Him in His great purposes.
Because we show what we value by what we give to.
Because it makes us more like Jesus: “Every time I give, my heart grows bigger. Every time I give, I become more like Jesus.” (Rick Warren).
Because it sets us free from the spirit of materialism “Every time you give, you break the grip of materialism in your life.” (Rick Warren).
“When I start feeling anxious about money, I give some away.” (Mark Ashton).
A couple of encouragements
Jesus’ teaching on the poor widow’s offering (Mark 12) proves that small gifts matter a lot to God!
You can’t outgive God!
Tips for new givers
Give according to your means… and don’t give to the church if you’re struggling with debt. (If you are, do get in touch with our CAP centre as they’d love to help you!)
Give according to God’s priorities: a) Ministry that spreads the gospel of salvation b) Ministry that blesses the poor c) Other things close to God’s heart (e.g. caring for aging parents).
Give according to your relative abundance.
Let God prove His faithfulness to you: If you’re nervous about whether you can make ends meet, start by giving a little regularly and see whether God enables you to sustain it.
“Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops …” (Proverbs 3:9). In other words: Let giving be our first consideration in our financial planning rather than our last thought. (It doesn’t say “last-fruits”!)
Decide what principle or percentage you want to commit to, and go for it.
In financial planning, distinguish between “needs” and “wants”… and prioritise needs (e.g. bills and essentials).
Tips for established givers
Aim for lifelong, high impact giving. Remember the blessing you will be part of!
Acknowledge our first world responsibilities: God has blessed most Christians in the West with a great opportunity: to turn our first world blessing into first world giving.
Beware “follow through lethargy”: “Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it.” (2 Cor 8:11).
Giving is always a “double decision”: decide you want to + decide to do it.
Create a “follow through plan” for every good intention.
Minimise the number of conversations and decisions you need to make.
Suggestion for married couples: Defer to the most generous voice.
Intentionally review your giving once a year, e.g. Pledge Sunday.
“Gain all you can. Save all you can. Then give all you can.” (John Wesley). Caveat: Sometimes saving time is more important than saving money (e.g. pay more for a ready meal / takeaway to enable more quality time with spouse or kids).
Give a little bit more than you feel comfortable giving.
Let the generosity of the poor inspire you.
If you’ve been giving for a while, what can you do to make it more sacrificial? Are there 2 ways that I could reasonably simplify? Is there 1 way that I might radically simplify?
Have a healthy scepticism of first world definitions of “need”: It can be sensible to pay more for (lasting) quality, but well worth asking whether I need to pay even more simply for the name. (e.g. some people could save thousands on a car and still have a great car.)
Discover the joy of thanks offerings, e.g. If you’ve just enjoyed a special holiday and you’re really grateful to God for it, why not express that in a one-off gift.