St. Andrew’s, like all churches, depends totally on the free offerings of its members to support its many life changing ministries. There are two good ways of thinking about our giving to the church we love. The first way is a good way. The second is a holy and soul transforming way that will change your life and heal your soul.
A Good Way
A perfectly good way of thinking about our giving to St. Andrew’s is to think about its needs. These include the $400,000 in salaries and benefits we pay to approximately a dozen hard working church staff members who oversee and facilitate our ministries, administer the church, and keep our facilities clean and safe, a $50,000 utilities bill, a $30,000 insurance bill, a $600,000 budget. Members may ask “If there are approximately 300 pledging families, what is my fair share?”
That is a good way of thinking because it suggests you are taking responsibility for the real costs of being a church. But there is a problem to this way of thinking, and it is why churches don’t have membership dues. The problem is that not every family has the ability to give equally. For some, it is a significant sacrifice to give $25 or $30 per week, and yet even this would not constitute a “fair share”. Others have been blessed immeasurably with this world’s goods and God expects a large and generous heart that would go way beyond what this world would consider a “fair share.
A Holy and Soul Transforming Way
Throughout the Bible we are taught that everything we own belongs to God. We are stewards, caretakers, trustees of what God has given us. To remind us of that and to help us prioritize our financial life, the Bible consistently teaches that we should give a minimum of 10% of what He has given us to His work in the world.
Our culture is sick, and the sickness has to do with money. Our nation is in debt and spends more than its income. Many people are in the same shape. We are driven by the media to buy more and to consume more, sickening our bodies by empty calories, sickening our world with pollution, and sickening our souls by the false thinking that says the more toys I have the happier I will be. It is a lie!
Many members of St. Andrew’s have discovered that when you begin to tithe (which means to give 10% of your income to the Lord) everything begins to change and life begins to take on new meaning. It’s true!
Tithing is a way to demonstrate our love of God and our trust in Him. It is a tangible demonstration of our decision to put God first in our lives.
Try this spiritual exercise. Write your income on a piece of paper. Move the decimal one place to the left. That’s 10%. Move the decimal one more place to the left. That’s 1%. Now, write down what you are currently giving to the Lord’s work. Could you increase your giving each year by 1% or 2% until you get to the tithe? And during the next year, would you be willing to commit to daily prayer and bible study? If you try this spiritual exercise, it will help heal your soul and transform your life in many remarkable ways.
For more information, please contact the Church Office at (772) 461-5009.