it takes money
It takes money to keep a church going and growing - money to pay rents and mortgages, money for paper and postage, money for computers and copiers, money for salaries and charities. A church that doesn't care enough to give probably won't go very far ... and you'll probably agree, that's how it should be.
Generosity, sacrifice, commitment, caring ... they aren't just financial issues; they're spiritual issues too. That's why money management with a spiritual dimension - often called Christian stewardship - is an important dimension of spiritual growth. As we face this issue, most of us discover that we're more materialistic than we'd like to admit. Jesus said it pretty straight: "You can't serve God and money," and "Where your treasure is, there your heart is also."
At The Journey, we ask our members to be highly committed financially so that our needs are met without having to pressure people or barrage them with emergency appeals. We are often told that people respect us for the serious and yet discreet way we approach this issue. We\'re all in this together, and we believe God can do great things with people who are learning how to give.
Jesus loved to tell stories about people handling money. According to Jesus, giving wasn't an "unspiritual" subject, but rather our spirituality is very strongly connected to our generosity (Luke 16:10-13; Luke 12:13-21; Matthew 6:19-21, 24-34). The apostle Paul also frequently addressed our attitudes towards money and giving (1Timothy 6:8-10, 17-19), and the early church set a wonderful example for us in generous living (Acts 2:42-47, Acts 4:32-37). The Old Testament is similarly full of timeless financial wisdom with great relevance for us today - especially those of us who feel unable to give because we haven't learned to manage their finances wisely (Deuteronomy 8:10-18, Proverbs 6:6-11, Proverbs 28:20, Proverbs 21:25-26, 22:7, Proverbs 22:26-27).
We understand that Christ gave himself for us, and so we joyfully present all we are and have back to God as a living sacrifice. We learn to give until it hurts and then give a little more ... until it feels good! (Romans 12:1-2, 8; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9)
We try to give as high a percentage of our income as possible, recognizing that 100% of what we earn and have is a gift from God, and seeing the tithe (10%) as a long-established Biblical benchmark which may well be exceeded as we prosper. (Genesis 14:18-20; Leviticus 27:30,32; Malachi 3:8-10, Luke 14:33, 2 Corinthians 8:13 - 15)
As resources flow in, we offer the first-fruits back to God, desiring to honor God with a portion of all we earn. We don't just give on occasional impulse, but instead, giving for us is a regular, planned part of our budgeting process. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Proverbs 3:9-10)
We claim this church as their spiritual home and because of this we support the church staff and programs from which we derive benefit. (I Timothy 5:17-18, I Corinthians 9:13-14)
As we are able, we contribute to the cause of Christ at a community and global level with the possessions and money that God has entrusted to us. Inspired by both the example of Christ and the greatness of needs around us, we don\'t hold back. (2 Corinthians 9:6-11)
We give our offering not just to an organization, but rather to God and we give willingly, and not under compulsion, but with a spirit of joyful worship as our resources flow out to serve others. Knowing that God gives so extravagantly to us and will provide for us, we seek to follow His example and want to give willingly. (2 Corinthians 9:5-7)
Counting on God's promise of provision, we anticipate seeing God work in our own lives including financially as we give. We see giving not as a loss, but rather as a gain. (Luke 6:38, 2 Corinthians 9:6-14, Malachi 3:8-10)