Theology of Giving
We have an unbelievably generous Father. The Bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from Him (James 1:17). God does not want or need our money to accomplish what He wants. Actually everything that we have is already His in the first place, we are simply managers of His resources. It's when we begin to view our resources as stewards that we are really freed up to model the generosity of God. We are joining God's mission of restoring people back to Himself and one of the ways we do this is with our financial resources.
Often we hear that we need to give a tithe to the church and there is debate about how much that is. God is not overly concerned with a number that you give, but He is concerned that you have a heart and life that are becoming more and more like Jesus. This is something that you should grow in and flows from your identity in Christ and not a specific percentage of money. So as a church we collect money from those committed to seeing the mission of God move forward in the place we live as well as throughout the world.
So if you want the answer to the question of how much you should give, I can't give you an exact answer, but only some suggestions to shape your answer. The New Testament doesn't appear to give an exact number that you should give to the church, but it is actually quite radical in how the early church operated with extreme generosity so that no person was without need. This included people who shared possessions and sold properties and laid them before the church leaders feet (Acts 4:32-37). In the early tradition of our movement, the CMA, people were so moved by the mission of God in the world that they would literally do rallies in which people would bring rings, watches, jewelry and anything valuable and lay it as an offering before God. Please prayerfully consider the following:
- A number that frequently comes up in the Bible is to give 10 percent. This was typically in reference to farmers and ranchers in the old testament concerning their crops and livestock to give to the temple. However, if you take all that the Israelites were required to give it was probably closer to over 20 percent of what they brought in.
- Giving should not be motivated by guilt, religion, or recognition. Matthew 6:1-4
- Our money is not our own. Deut 8:17-18
- You do not need to worry about being taken care of. Matthew 6:25-34
- Anything we do without faith is sin. Romans 14:23b
- Grow in being a cheerful, regular, sacrificial giver. 2 Corinthians 8-9
- You are not more important to a church if you give more than someone else. Mark 13:1-2
- Money is deceptive, or as the Bible describes it the root of all kinds of evil. 1 Timothy 6:10
- You can't serve God and money. Matthew 6:24