Two church members were engaged in a serious conversation about the financial status of their church, one said to the other, “Our church costs too much. They are always asking for money!” The other church member replied, “Sometime ago a little boy was born into our home. He costs us a lot of money from the very beginning. He had a big appetite. He needed clothes, medication, toys and even a puppy, which cost a lot. Then, he went to school and that cost a lot more. Later, he went to college, then he began dating and that cost a small fortune. But in his senior year at college he died. Since the funeral he hasn’t cost us a penny. Now which situation do you think we would rather have? After a significant pause, the friend continued, “As long as this church lives it will cost. When it dies for want of support it won’t cost us anything. A living church has the most vital message for all the world today. Therefore, I am going to give and pray with everything I have to keep our church alive.” If you were the church member complaining about church costs, how would you have responded.
Yes, church costs! But what is the cost in comparison to letting it die? Or what is the cost in comparison to what Jesus did for us on the cross?
When a church votes on a budget it becomes a covenant with all members to give of their financial resources to support the ministries included in it. It requires that all members assume a responsibility to fulfill the contract, pay their share and do everything within their ability to meet the agreed upon ministry goals.
But there is more! Giving to the church is more than meeting a budget. Giving to the church is our Stewardship before God. It is an expression of our love to God. The Old Covenant required a tithe by law. The New Covenant requires that we give in proportion to what we have received. One difference between law and love is that love goes beyond the requirements of law. The law required a tithe, love requires the tithe plus an offering. Anything less is a contribution. Under the New Covenant giving to God is not a legal matter but a spiritual matter. It is an attitude of the heart and an act of faith. It’s a matter of loving God with all you heart, mind, soul and strength. Love costs!
In His Love, Charles