July 10th – October 2nd
In the Old Testament law, God’s people would give 10% of their wealth as an offering, or tithe, that showed a gratitude for God’s provision in their lives. As the early church was coming into existence, the question of whether or not those no longer under the law of Moses (instead being under grace) needed to follow this ancient command.
Paul’s response is remarkable. He tells the church at Corinth, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Paul’s point is that how much we give and under what compulsion is not the point. Instead, Paul says that giving is an issue of the heart, and that it should be a source of joy in our lives!
Giving away our money as a source of joy? We can all testify to the fact that this isn’t always the way that we feel. When we think, however, of our gifts serving the causes of the Kingdom — the spreading of the gospel, the care of the congregation, and mercy to those in need — we can see how our gifts, no matter what size, can impact the work that God is doing in the lives of others. And that brings us great joy, indeed.
So we are asking all who call Faith Church their home, regardless of where you are in your giving relationship with God, to join us in the 90-day giving challenge. There are three ways you can come alongside others in our church family, as we pursue joyful and generous giving together.
– First, if you have never given financially to God as an act of worship, or have stopped giving due to hardships or fear, pray about and purpose to find a first sacrifice you can make. Regardless of the amount, ask God to help you step out in faith for the first time (or once again) and support Kingdom-work by giving back to God.
– Secondly, you can commit to offering to God a full tithe – 10% of your income – for the next 90 days. In Malachai3:10 we are told, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” Surely, while every blessing from God isn’t financial, we are promised in both the Old and New Testaments that giving brings blessing.
– Finally, if you are already a cheerful giver, and maybe even faithfully tithe, ask God if he would have you increase your giving over these 90 days, and pray that he would continue to mold each of our hearts to look like the generous heart of Jesus.
We want everyone who participates in the 90-Day Giving Challenge to have a positive experience that draws us closer to God. Because we seek to grow into a deeper giving relationship with God over the next 13 weeks without fear or reservation, and because God challenges us to test him in our giving, this challenge has one caveat: If, after signing up and giving for 90 days you feel as though it was not a positive experience, or you feel that it wasn’t the right choice for you and your family, you will be given back your 90 days of offerings with no questions asked, and no judgement passed.
In Luke 6:38, Jesus says: “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap.” Let’s join together in trusting God to fulfill his promises in our lives, as we come to him with thanksgiving for all he has given us.
Q. When does this 90 days end?
A. The 90 Day Giving Challenge concludes on the first Sunday of October.
Q. Does it matter how I give? Online? At the church?
A. You can give in whatever manner you choose; through our website, during our church services, or through your bank. To be eligible to have your gift returned at the end of the 90 days, however, you must give through a means that can be attributed to your giving account — this means that all cash gifts must be given in an envelope with the name of the giving party written on the envelope.
Q. Will the staff or people praying for me know how much I’m giving?
A. No. As is our practice here at Faith Church, the only person who accesses an individual’s giving record is our Financial Secretary. This individual only looks at that information as is necessary to assist our members in their tax preparations, or other official purposes.
Q. Why do I have to sign-up? Can’t I participate in the giving challenge without informing the church?
A. You certainly can! We do, however, want to be able to encourage those who are participating through special communications, devotions, and other ways to help them in their journey. We also desire to pray for each individual or family that is stepping out in faith as our church family joins together during this time. Also, to be eligible to have your gift returned at the end of 90 days, there must be a record of your participation by signing up.