God is so smart! You just can’t improve on the biblical plan for every part of life — including your wallet. The Bible never tells how much (in dollars, rupees, or pesos) to give, but is very clear about approaching this subject. “Give as the Lord has given to you.”
The only way you can biblically approach “how much should we give to the church?” is by a percentage. You can’t say “Well, we gave $35 a week last year. Maybe we should raise it to $38 a week.” You don’t say “The pastor says our church is behind the budget, so maybe we ought to put in a little more.” You definitely don’t want to say “I don’t like the decisions the church made at the congregational meeting. I am going to withhold my offering.” None of these are biblical approaches. What you can say is “We have chosen to give 7% of what God gives us to His work. We are determined to grow in our faith and raise it one percent next year and another the year after that. We believe God will meet our needs.”
This is called proportionate giving. It is practiced by only 30% of those who attend church regularly. The rest practice dollar giving. It is not God’s plan. It always leaves the church with fewer resources.
When my son, Jon, was 21 and in college, he worked part-time and didn’t earn much. He learned to trust God and give 10%. The amount of Jon’s 10% wasn’t a lot. Think about what that means as his earning power expanded! Think what it means for Kingdom work. Think what it could mean for your church. The numbers would astound you.
Focus on these issues:
- Think, teach, preach, and practice percentage giving.
- Help people realize that God does not focus on equal giving (dollars) but equal sacrifice (percentage).
- Help parents teach their children percentage giving — it is a long-term, very good investment for the Kingdom.
- Reflect on your own life. Do you give as the Lord has given to you?
- When you cash in stock or sell appreciated property, do you give a percentage back to God?
- Do you give a percentage of an inheritance you received back to God?
- Does your church teach people to give from what God has given rather than to a budget, project, or costs?
God’s work requires our resources. Giving — God’s way — makes a huge difference in the operation of your church!
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.