Why does my giving matter? “If I don’t give, someone else will I’m sure, right?” “There are lots of people that have more money than me – they should fund the church”. “There is money from the developer, right? I don’t have to give because we have that money”.
These are all thoughts that MBCC members and attendees have had about giving. It’s a fact that our giving supports right at only 13% of our budget currently. But is that a good thing? I would argue that giving is important to not only the church, but for the members. There is something that happens in you when you give. Even if it were true that outside money or investments could totally fund our church (and it isn’t true at all) we miss out when we don’t each participate.
Let’s explore that. When you give, it is one way you express caring. The money you have in your pocket or bank account represents something. It represents your time and effort. You had to give up some of your life that you will never get back to earn those funds. So when you make a decision to not buy something for yourself or your family with that, you are saying that you care.
You care about the other people at MBCC and you care about our community. You are saying that you want to support our common mission and build our community. You are saying that what we have as a community is “worth it”. When you give, you tap into several things. First, you tap into generosity.
Your giving to your church community gives you good practice for other ways you can be generous. And generosity helps us all push back on the danger of living in a consumerist culture – where more is always better. It helps us see that seeking to give, rather than always looking to get, is a better way to live. One that Jesus encouraged frequently.
You also tap into gratitude when you give. You are enabled to take a moment and look at all of the things you have with gratitude, rather than look at all the things you could have if only you had more money. You get a regular reminder to pause and push back on our cultural messages to realize that you have the kingdom of God within you. Finally, you tap into faith when you give. You are saying that you trust God as your provider.
You are not falling into the trap that Jesus described when he asked “what shall it profit a man to gain the whole world, but lose his own soul”? Our consumerist culture is soul-killing. It has the potential to push us towards ways of living that are unhealthy for ourselves and others.
We get to tap into a different economy when we give. So, at MBCC we have an opportunity to be generous, tap into gratitude, and tap into faith. Please consider that when you plan your family budget and giving.