People get nervous when you talk money, generosity and church. One comments, “There goes that pastor again talking about money!” Another might say, “All they ever talk about is money at that church.” Yet, every believer can use a reminder about generosity and specifically money.
Just eye Paul’s encouragement about Corinth’s collection for Jerusalem. The believers there had fallen prey to a sluggish economy due to drought and some level of persecution because of their faith. Christians in Jerusalem struggled.
This is what Paul said:
Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me. 1 Corinthians 16:1-4
Here are a few worthwhile giving habit reminders that I take from the context:
We’re in this collection thing together. It’s about churches and people coming together to practice generosity specifically with their financial resources. We’re in this together.
The ability to meet the need resides in the church community. The ability to financially supply the vision resides in the local church community. Where God leads, He funds. Remember the old joke? “Pastor, I’ve got good news and bad news about our finances. The good news is we’ve got all the money we need. The bad news it’s still in everyone’s pockets.”
Planned, diligent, and systematic habits are key. Routine generosity pays huge dividends. Maybe that’s why Paul suggests the reader set aside a weekly sum.
Each of us has a responsibility to give. No matter our individual ability, we all have the responsibility to practice generosity. Financial support is as much my responsibility as it is the next guy’s.
We give according to our income. The New Testament example is giving which is often interpreted as being well beyond the ten percent tithe.
Together we can create life-changing moments. When people practice extraordinary generosity together in pursuit of God’s vision for a local church community, great ministry moments are created.
What would God have you to do financially through your local church community?