I know no one wants to talk about money. If it’s uncomfortable for you, imagine how uncomfortable it is for me. However, as your pastor, I have to go there. It’s too important to ignore because our growth in Christ is at stake. Giving is one of the greatest means of discipleship. Giving helps make us more like Jesus. Giving also gives us significance and purpose. We get the privilege of using our resources to partner with God and other believers to advance God’s kingdom and change the world. Like a child helping her mother in the kitchen, we get to be a part of baking the cake.
Because giving is such an important topic and opportunity, I’d like to answer a few common questions related to stewardship and highlight some of our values related to generous giving here at Waypoint:
1. Am I Required to Give 10%? What About Outside Giving?
I’m not very concerned with the percentage. The 10% tithe in the Old Testament was a matter of first fruit. It’s never been about the number. It’s about the heart. The question is whether or not you are joyfully giving to God and the body you have been called to. If the Holy Spirit is calling you to also give to other ministries, by all means, give. God has called you to give sacrificially and joyfully.
2. Should We Give to the Church First?
God puts us into local church bodies; it’s His plan A for our growth, for discipleship, and for missions. As we give to the local church body, we trust the leadership to use the money we give to meet needs in our community and city, and to spread the gospel to the nations. By combining our gifts locally, we maximize internationally, while working to make sure the needs within our church family are also met.
3. How Does the Church Spend the Money?
This is, understandably, one of the most frequently asked questions about giving. At Waypoint, our budget is determined by the elders and approved by the congregation. We are committed at Waypoint to giving a minimum 20% to missions. That is not to say that the money we spend on staff, building upkeep, and insurance is wasted money. Our job as a church is discipleship and kingdom advancement, and we believe we are faithfully executing this task, empowered by the resources given by the congregation.
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart,
not reluctantly or under compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:7