Christian Giving

When we give… we give LIFE.

How we handle our time, talents and money is at the heart of our walk with God. Yet it is a subject that is rarely addressed in churches except in a PCC meeting which are sadly all too often dominated by discussions over finances!

By contrast, in the Bible, money is a regular topic and even the teaching of Jesus has many references to finances. Jesus talks more about money than he does Heaven and Hell combined. In fact, he talks more about money than any other topic except the Kingdom of Heaven. And 11 out of 39 parables talk about money.

Jesus teaches that our dependence should be on God and all that he provides for us. He taught, not that it was important to have a lot of money or to hoard it, but that it was something to give away to those that are in need and to be used to resource the mission of the church.

Every week we acknowledge our dependence on God as we present our offerings in church with the words “All things come from you, and of your own do we give you”.

But coming to a full understanding of what that might mean for us often takes time as we learn more and more about God. And what the offertory actually expresses might not match the words that we say at that moment in our Worship.

The Giving Toolbox is a set of resources and programmes to help both you and your church engage with understanding the place of money in our own lives and the importance that our own gifts of it through the church play in furthering God’s Mission.

The Giving Toolbox

Frequently asked questions

 

 

So what are the Fundamental Principles to Christian Giving when we are considering talking about it in our churches?

Fundamental Principles

#1 Faith-raising not Fund-raising.

The principal aim in encouraging giving is actually to help Christians grow in faith. It is this growth in faith that will fuel real generosity over time and not the other way round. So talking about Giving is actually to encourage Discipleship.

#2 We are stewards!

The Bible teaches time and time again that all that we have comes from God. We are simply stewards of his generosity during our time on earth and we are charged with using his generosity wisely.

#3 Abundance not scarcity.

The challenge to all Christians is to learn to give out of our abundance (what the Old Testament often calls the First Fruits) rather than what we have left over or what is just in our pockets. Our giving should be a priority, not an afterthought

#4 Resourcing Mission.

Our giving should be in response to God’s gifts to us, and to resource His mission to the world and not simply to keep the show on the road.

In encouraging giving, we simply extend God’s invitation to participate in His mission to those around us.

Whilst these are fundamental to Christian Giving, each individual is on their own journey of Discipleship and how that relates to their attitude to money and the church will vary. And how we develop habits of generosity in response to God’s love may take a lifetime.

The Church of England has developed the following helpful six steps of giving to better explain how this journey progresses.

Steps in Giving

Step 1 – Survival

“I give a bit when I’m asked because the church ought to be there in case I need it.”

The need is survival and there’s a chance that the church might help. The relationship with the church is that I know it’s there if I need it – all being well, I won’t!

Step 2 – Supermarket

“I’m happy to pay towards the cost of the bits of the church that I want and enjoy.”

The need is safety and by treating the church on my terms I feel safe and unchallenged. I see myself as a customer.

Step 3 – Support

“The work of the Church is important and so I’ll support it.”

I have a need for belonging. I see myself as a member of the supporters’ club.

Step 4 – Subscription

“I see myself as a member and I wish to contribute to my fair share of the costs.”

The need is identity – I’m recognised and I’m playing my part.

Step 5 – Submission

“My understanding of being a disciple is that I should put God first in my life. “

I see a deeper meaning in life and my giving responds to God and not just the needs of the Church.

Step 6 – Sacrifice

“My Christian calling is to be Christ-like and so naturally I give joyfully and sacrificially – following Christ.”

The Giving Toolbox has been developed to help both individuals and churches move along this pathway to a deeper understanding of how to respond to God’s love through the gifts we make through the church.

The Giving Toolbox

 

A short video to explain how the Diocese is funded


 

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