Written by Stephen Cox
At Wagga Wagga Evangelical Church, at the heart of who we are and what we do is Jesus. We want to know Christ, be built up in Him and serve Him. Our ultimate aim is to bring glory to God.
We believe that God calls his people to a life of cheerful generosity. Generosity, with all that we have, is the right and appropriate response to the God who is – and will always be – generous towards us. Therefore, a Christian’s desire to give towards the growth of God’s Kingdom at church should spring from this generosity, and not from feeling pressured or forced to do so.
It is one of the reasons why we never “pass a plate” around during our Sunday meetings, which may coerce us to give. Instead, we encourage and challenge each other through the Scriptures to grow in our generosity with integrity.
In reaction to God’s grace
God has shown his great love for sinful people like us by offering us forgiveness and new life through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Having benefited from such undeserved generosity, we should be motivated to give generously.
In recognition of God’s gifts to us
The money that we have is a gift from God. It is entrusted to us to use for the advance of his kingdom. Too often we think of our money as our own, to be used primarily for the pursuit of our own comfort, with perhaps a small tip for God if there’s any left over. But God calls us to invest the money he has entrusted to us in the things that last – the work of proclaiming the gospel.
In Response to needs
God’s priority is that people hear the gospel – that is their greatest need. But we must not ignore the very real needs of people in difficulty. The Bible challenges us to give to those who preach the word of God (1 Timothy 5:17), to those in need in our church (James 1:27) and to those in need in other churches (2 Corinthians 8). The needs may be local (ministry staff costs, ministry resources) or further afield (WWEC gives around 10% of the money we receive towards mission elsewhere in Australia and abroad).
Our attitude in giving
Paul stresses the abundance of God’s gifts to us so that we will be encouraged to give abundantly in response – 2 Corinthians 9:8
The Old Testament directed God’s people to give a “tithe” (10% of a person’s income) for the temple work, as well as money for the poor and others needs. The New Testament is far more radical – we are to be generous with everything we have. Some will be able to give far more than 10%.
Each person should give what they have decided in their heart to give. We need to prayerfully think carefully about the resources we have been given, what our responsibilities are and who we can give money to in the most effective way. We may find setting a budget is a helpful way to ensure we make good use of our money.
God loves a cheerful giver. It is easy to give for the wrong reasons: to relieve our guilt, to avoid other avenues of Christian service or to earn the good opinion of others. Paul tells us that God loves a joyful and big-hearted response to all that he as lavished on us.
Where to Give?
Christians have a responsibility to provide for both themselves and their families (e.g., 1 Thessalonians 4:11- 12; 1 Timothy 5:3-8). God also commands that Christians support those whose work amongst them is preaching and teaching the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:7-14; 1 Timothy 5:17-18). We are to provide for poor Christians (Romans 15:25-29; 2 Corinthians 8-9).
We are to do good for those in need generally (Galatians 6:10).
Over To You
There are many different ways that members of WWEC can give to the work of the Gospel here and beyond. These include setting up a regular, automatic Direct Debit (details are on the back of our church outlines). You can give cash or cheques via the red toolbox at the back of the hall. Our preference is for members to give via the Direct Debit as this has the advantages of reducing the physical handling of cash, encouraging regular giving and helping WWEC in planning and budgeting for future ministries.
As you personally consider your financial situation, please:
Thank God for his good gifts to you and ask him how you can best support his work with the money that he has provided.
How much to give and how often
Arrange your method of giving
On behalf of the ministry team, we thank you and God for your constant generosity and support of the growth of God’s Kingdom here at WWEC.