We are currently collecting pledge cards at Waypoint so that the elders can make wise decisions about the 2020 budget. As you take the time to prayerfully consider your own budget and projected giving, here are some questions to consider.*
What is generosity?
Generosity is the natural, consistent, and occasionally spontaneous giving of our material possessions to God’s service and to our communities because of and modeled after what Jesus Christ has done for us on the cross. As God “did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all” (Romans 8:32), so our posture toward God and others in response to His love should be one of cheerful sacrifice and generosity.
What is stewardship?
A steward is a person who has been entrusted with, and who manages, another’s resources according to the owner’s vision and values. Each of us was created for stewardship by God (Genesis 1:28). A steward is both a ruler with authority to govern resources and a slave accountable to the owner of those resources. The New Testament calls Christians caretakers of God’s truths and gifts — even God’s grace (1 Corinthians 4:1; 1 Peter 4:10).
What is the basis for the tithe?
In the Old Testament, believers were required to give a tenth of their income to the support of the ministry and the needs of the poor, and they were also required to give other offerings during the course of the year (Lev. 27:30-34, Num. 18:26, Duet. 12:5-6, 14:22,28-29, Neh. 10:35-37). The New Testament teaches that we should give as we are “able and even beyond [our] ability” (2 Corinthians 8:3). Therefore, the tithe (10%) is seen as a kind of guide for faithfulness in giving.
Do I give 10% of my gross or net income?
If we are asking this question to answer the question, “What’s the minimum I have to give?” we might be starting from the wrong posture. Scripture teaches that we are to give back to God our “first fruits” (Exodus 23:16, 19). Proverbs 3:9 encourages us to “honor the Lord with [our] wealth, with the first fruits of [our] crops,” meaning the primary and choicest of our possessions. God has modeled “first fruits” by giving us his son, Jesus Christ. Our response to God should reflect our love of and devotion to him. So the percentage for a grad student living off a student loan will look different from someone established in his or her career; but the posture and the heart of giving should be the same for both.
Should I give all of my tithe and offering to Waypoint Church?
The answer to this is a qualified “no.” Your gift is an act of personal worship to God in response to His grace in your life and the gift of His Son. The allocation of your money and time to God’s service should be a byproduct of prayer and of consultation with other Christians to whom you are accountable. However, if you consider Waypoint your “home church,” you should consider allocating a significant portion of your tithe and offering to the community where you invest most of your time and where others are investing in you.
Isn’t there more to generosity and stewardship than money?
We certainly must be good stewards of all that God has given us: money, time, skills, influence, and position. Therefore, generosity and stewardship are about much more, but not less, than our financial resources. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Our heart’s inclination is to worship anything other then God and money can become an idol. Therefore, giving it away generously to God’s service can liberate us from our idolatry and fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2).
How does Waypoint meet our vision?
Waypoint Church faithfully prays over the new budget each year, trusting God to make us stewards of his resources as a local church body committed to worshipping him and advancing Christ’s Kingdom. Waypoint gives 20% of our giving to missions every year. This includes support for global missions, World Relief, Samaritan’s Health, church planting, local outreach, refugee ministry, international student ministry, and much more. The remaining 80% goes to staffing, building upkeep, children’s ministry, and the other ministries that help us love the triangle and love the nations. This year we hope to invest more in our children’s and youth ministries and make some small investments in our facility to make room for more people to hear the good news.
*Adapted from Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s Stewardship Guide