Perhaps 2 Corinthians 9:7 best describes the heart that God desires in our giving. First, he encourages confidence and decisiveness. Giving is not just reactionary, but deliberate, thoughtful and faith-filled. Second, he warns against reluctance and compulsion. That’s why we don’t pass a collection plate on Sunday mornings. We want people to give because they have prayerfully determined that it is God’s desire that they give, not because they feel the pressure of watching eyes. Third, he wants cheerfulness. When we join in God’s work, it’s intended to be a joyful thing because we’re investing in the greatest of causes.
If we want to see our church well-supplied for its mission to Fort Collins and the But how much? Should we really give a full 10% of our income? We believe that, yes, that is the biblical pattern. A tithe (which literally means a tenth) was established in the earliest chapters of the Bible and seems to be the baseline amount that God asks for. Of course, the subject of the tithe is complicated and can be confusing. For a more in-depth treatment, read this blog post by Randy Alcorn.
In Defense of the Local Church
But is giving to a local church really the best investment? Do I really want my money going to making copies of bulletins and keeping the lights of a building on? Wouldn’t my dollar go further when supporting a more “front line” ministry? Such questions can be a good check on local churches. Each church should be striving to use resources in a truly kingdom-advancing way, and if the perception is that the local church isn’t really taking much spiritual ground, then there should be some serious self-evaluation happening.
However, let’s not underestimate the value of the local church. The church’s mission is to make disciples, but much of disciple-making happens behind closed doors in ways that aren’t especially obvious. Whether through small groups or marriage counseling or children’s ministry, God is making profound advances through the local church. It’s actually his Plan A when it comes to disciple-making. Besides, if there is someone serving in a “flashier” ministry out there, odds are that their faith was formed through the “simple” ministry of a local church. The staff, the facility, the ministry resources all contribute to a process that forms deep faith in people and prepares them to minister in all corners of the earth. And that’s actually what we want to do at Summitview. We want to see the kind of proactive faith formed in people that moves them beyond our four walls.
Still, if you’re interested in understanding exactly where your tithe dollars go, here’s a rough breakdown of our church budget:
This, of course, pays our employees, whether those involved directly in shepherding ministry, such as pastors, or those who provide administrative support, which is absolutely critical to enable shepherding work.
This covers our monthly mortgage, utilities, and any building maintenance.
This includes three main areas: (1) giving to our national organization, M28, which uses such funds for pastoral coaching, conferences, and initiatives such as church plants, (2) our benevolence fund, which is used to meet needs among church members, and (3) extra giving to partner organizations such as Serve6.8 and The Alpha Center.
This helps fund different church ministries, such as communications, youth ministry, children’s ministry, etc.
This covers office expenses, bank fees, etc.
How Do I Give?
You can give online (one-time or recurring) through Planning Center Online (PCO). PCO is our online database system that provides a variety of different tools that help us with service planning, event registrations, giving, and more. Creating a profile in PCO will help streamline much of your involvement with Summitview and will help us serve you much more efficiently. If you have any trouble setting up online giving please contact Tim Carr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secondly, you can mail a check directly to the church building. Address your gifts to Summitview Church c/o Tim Carr, 1601 W Drake Rd, Fort Collins, CO 80526.
Finally, we know that this is an uncertain financial time for many of us. If you are experiencing financial distress, please contact our benevolence deacons at email@example.com.
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