GIVING & SERVING
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT GIVING
In simple terms, stewardship means taking care of something for someone else. Everything we have comes from the Lord. We’d just be broken pieces if not for the Master’s hands putting us back together. One way we can show gratitude for His generosity toward us is to practice good stewardship of what He’s given us. This includes planning, saving, budgeting, and investing our money, and also cleaning, maintaining, and protecting our possessions. Biblical stewardship must likewise include a generous response of giving back to the Lord and giving to the needy.
Tithing means giving ten percent of your income to the Lord via the church community where you participate in worship and ministry. The Old Testament established this concept (see Deuteronomy 26, Malachi 3:10, and Nehemiah 10:34-39), and Jesus confirmed it in the New Testament (see Matthew 23:23). Tithing is a command of God; it’s an act of obedience. Meanwhile, giving an offering is just that—a gift. It’s anything you feel led to give beyond your tithe. You can give however much you wish to whomever you wish, as God leads. (See 2 Corinthians 9:7-10.)
We believe in giving God our first and our best. This means the first payment we make after payday is our tithe. People ask, “What if I can’t afford to tithe?” We say, “You can’t afford not to.” If we want God’s blessing on our finances, we need to tithe. We need to obey what He’s said. It’s like the farmer who sows seed. If a farmer had a tough crop last year and he only has a few seeds, does he say, “I can’t afford to plant this seed”? He can’t afford not to! He’s got the choice of either eat it himself or plant it. He can eat it himself, and that’s going to last one meal. Or he can plant it. God says if you want a big harvest, you plant a lot. If you want a little harvest, you plant a little. How you plant is how you reap. It’s up to you. (See Luke 6:38, Proverbs 3:9, and Nehemiah 10:34-39)
We value giving the whole tithe to the “storehouse,” that is, the place where you’re fed, your home church. If Abundant Life isn’t where you regularly receive teaching and participate in worship and community, give your tithe to the local church body where you do these things. Of course, there is freedom when it comes to giving an offering (over and above the tithe), and spreading it around to various charities is completely up to you. (See Malachi 3:10.)