This is a very positive subject because the bible tells us that ‘God loves a cheerful giver’ – 2 Corinthians 9:7. Generosity is a very freeing thing and stops money starting to take a hold of us. St Paul taught in terms of giving, that we reap what we sow, so that if we sow generously, we also reap generously – 2 Corinthians 9:6.
All we have comes as a gift from God
and we are just stewards of it
The starting point of understanding the bible’s teaching on money, is to comprehend that all we have comes as a gift from God and we are just stewards of it. When we think of giving to the church, we are talking about the life of our worshipping community, and how we together with our brothers and sisters in Christ, take the gospel forward in our community and in God’s world. All those things need funding. In our Diocese each church pays something called ‘Fairer Share’, a levy of about £400 per church member which goes towards paying the stipendiary clergy in our parishes. We need to maintain our historic buildings. We also give a percentage of our income to support aid and missionary charities. All these can add up to a sizeable church budget each year.
In our churches some of us are on benefits, some of us are ‘well-heeled’ and most of us are somewhere in between. What God asks of us is to each give generously according to our means. If we each do this, there will be more than enough to do all the work.
Many of our church members give by monthly standing order, and our church treasurers are very grateful to those who are able to do this, because it helps them to plan. For those who are taxpayers, it is very beneficial to the church if you can Gift Aid what you give – this means the taxman gives the church an extra 28p for every pound you give.
Ultimately our motivation to give and to serve comes from Jesus, who gave his life to make us children of God