At our last lead team meeting I volunteered to start taking more of an initiative during our giving time in worship to try and communicate some truth about money and finances and how it impacts our life and faith. On Sunday I felt very much like an idiot when I babbled out something about how the church doesn’t want money and then proceeded to pass around plates and ask for money. I’d prefer that something like that not happen again. I think it reflects poorly on me, on our church, and on believers in general.
The statement is true enough though, God doesn’t want our money. He doesn’t need our money, He’s God for goodness sake. I just didn’t do a very good job of explaining it. You see most people start getting a bit prickly when anyone starts talking about money. We don’t like to talk about it, even with our friends most of the time. This means that when we do start spouting off about it, especially when we’re attaching the money discussion to church and faith, we need to be very clear about what we’re saying. Our theology must be not only sound, but also articulate and well nuanced. And so, with that in mind, please allow me to clearly articulate why I choose to give.
- Obedience. When I became a Christian, I decided to put my trust in God. I chose to believe that God will always be leading me and helping me to become the best sort of person that I can. Scripture tells me this and my experiences back it up. Part of the demonstration of my commitment to Christ is to obey even when it’s difficult. We’re not making a lot of money right now (especially for a young family with 2 small children). Even so, my wife and I have made a commitment to giving part of our income to the church. We believe that God is faithful to His people and when we give it’s as simple as putting our money where our mouth is.
- The church’s mission is huge. We’re called to be God’s ambassadors to a hurt and broken world. We’re called to make disciples and spread the gospel, to be good stewards of our planet, to break the chains of injustice, to set captives free, to heal the sick, and feed the hungry, to clothe the naked and find shelter for the homeless just to name a few. I can’t be everywhere and do everything, nor am I the best person for every job. There are others already doing many of these things around the world who our church supports. When I give to my church I can participate in what God is doing around the world.
- I believe in the message of Jesus. I believe that God is continually at work in the world and that we can participate in the work of redeeming all of creation. Giving is an opportunity to show my support of this cause. It’s about me buying into God’s message and supporting those whose livelihood is sourced by the church and who rely on God, literally for their daily bread.
God doesn’t want our money. He wants us. Fully and completely. Being a disciple of Christ is about setting aside my wants and desires and picking up Christ’s mantle every day. If you want to see what a person believes in, all you have to do is look at their checkbook. We only buy into things that we think are important. This is what stewardship is all about, choosing where and to what our resources go. If I am going to call myself a disciple of Jesus, then when someone looks at my whole life, including my checkbook, it should point them to Him.