It’s Monday morning and you know what that means. . .
It’s the day when I take a question that was posed to me during the week and post my response for the blog world to read (hi mom).
Today’s question comes from an email as a result of yesterday’s sermon.
Here’s the question asked of me during a discussion, and I’ll pass it off to you.
The 10 percent that comes off the gross, does it have to be given to the church, or can it, or a part of it, go to other organizations that also do good works? Such as, St. Jude’s, Arkansas Childrens Hospital, United Way, K-LOVE.”
Whoah. “Now THAT’s a Good Question“!!!!!
My counsel would be to, YES, aim to give 10% of your gross income to your local church and budget the rest for other organizations you are burdened to give toward.
I say this for 3 reasons:
1. Guaranteed Eternal Investment.
Jesus promised that NOTHING will overcome His church, not even the powers of hell. The church cannot and will not EVER fail. God has ordained His church to be the primary means by which disciples of all nations are made. When you give to the church, your resources will last forever – guaranteed. It’s just wise to honor God with your wealth by giving to the church.
2. Practice of the Early Church.
A great question to ask here is, “How did the early church do it?” Well, it’s pretty clear: they sacrificially (more than a tithe!) gave to the church. I encourage you to read through the book of Acts and ask that question. Think Barnabas and Ananias and Sapphira. Read 1 Corinthians 16 and 2 Corinthians 8 & 9. The early church gave large sums to their local church for the advancement of the Gospel.
3. Most Effective Impact.
No doubt – taking money collectively for a particular cause will have a greater impact than individuals all doing their own thing. Again, the practice of the early church is revealing. Over and over again we read of them taking up funds/resources (through the local church!) to aid other believers. The local church was the ‘gathering place’ if you will to distribute funds for strategic ministries. This is a HUGE reason why I love the SBC and the way many SBC churches do things (including FBC!). When anyone gives to FBC (known as the tithe), 10% goes to the Cooperative Program (read more by clicking on the link). Also, every year we take up additional offerings (over and above the tithe) for things like the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. More impact can be made for evangelistic and disciple making venues by working collectively instead of individually.
Bottom Line: When the local church is operating the way God intended, the sole purpose is to make disciples of all nations. This should be the driving goal of any Christian who gives to any charitable organization. Since God has purposed the church to be victorious – where else would you want to invest your ‘first and best’ resources?
Should you give to other ‘good’ organizations?
Before you do, however, I (as a follower of Jesus) would ask myself these questions:
1. Has God promised to bless the efforts of this organization?
2. Does this organization (and/or my own motive) aim, ultimately, to make disciples of all nations?
3. Is this a burden God has given me or do I think it’s just a good idea?
There are TONS of really good things to give toward. I simply counsel the Christian to give as intentionally as possible for that which will last forever.