Monday, July 22, 2013

What we believe about giving

It seems that for a minister of the word to talk about money is taboo, especially if that minister is a full time gospel worker. Of course there has been much abuse of this Biblical truth and as we do with many things, we tend to throw out the baby with the bath water. I would say that this ministry is a faith based ministry, but the truth is, that if a ministry is NOT faith based, then it is not a Bible based ministry at all. Personally I do not know of any truly Bible based ministry that does not depend on the love and obedience of God's people for their finance.

On the outset I will clarify that we do not write this on account of need or a "drop in support". The Lord has been so kind to us in supplying our needs above what we ask through the love and fellowship of His dear people (2Co 8:4). We believe that giving to the work of the Lord is scriptural and that a worker is worthy of his wages. (1Tim 5:18) We also believe that we should know the person or ministry that we give to and that ministry should be one that proclaims the fullness of the gospel (1The 5:12). Giving to the poor, needy, orphans and widows is part of scriptural teaching, but I do not see that as part of my tithes or offerings.

Our giving should be characterized by generosity (1Co 16:2; 2Co 5:9; 2Co 8:2) and should be given "to the Lord" (2Co 8:5). I have known people who wanted their offering back because they left the assembly or disagreed with the leadership. Our giving should be done prayerfully and scripturally. What the ministry does with the offering is between them and the Lord. As a giver it is my responsibility to know to whom I am giving the Lord's money. It is the recipient's responsibility to use the Lord's money wisely and prayerfully and show transparency.

Imagine, if the giver is praying about where to give and therefore praying also for each ministry and the needs of each ministry and, on the other hand, the ministry is praying about the needs and for the giver; well, that is just a lot of prayer going up to the throne of grace!

Then, after prayer (not some emotional high) the giver gives joyfully and generously and the recipient receives humbly and offers up thanksgiving to the Lord and those affected by the ministry also offer up thanksgiving to the Lord; well, that is just a lot of thanksgiving being given to the Lord (2Co 9:11-14).

Why do we mention different needs in our blog? Some spiritual, some physical and some material. Some personal and many for the people and congregations where the Lord has placed us to minister to His people. We believe that it is scriptural to make God's people aware of the needs so that they might pray for these needs (Rom 15:26-28; Rom 12:13; Tit 3:13-14; Jam 5:14). Most of those who are interested in our ministry are interested in both our needs and the needs of those to whom we minister; financial or not; whether or not they ever contribute financially.

Although we are in full time ministry and we look to the Lord for our financial needs, not having any other source of income, we appreciate and equally love those who never contribute financially, but that are in prayer for us and for those to whom we have the privilege to minister. We have experienced the Lord's goodness and faithfulness in supplying for our financial needs. He will remain faithful to His people and to His own glory!