At Redemption Hill we see our giving as an integral part of our worship; in fact, we see it as the overflow of our hearts’ worship of God. We stress that our giving should not be based on legalistic rules or efforts to win God’s approval. We encourage our community to give generously — not meeting an arbitrary percentage, but sacrificing with the joy that comes from treasuring the news that Jesus sacrificed everything, and all that we have is His.
Our lives are to reflect a different set of priorities because of whom we understand ourselves to be because of the Gospel. No longer do we see ourselves as owners but rather as stewards of God’s gifts towards us — the time we have on this earth, the talents and abilities that He has given us, and the resources that He has blessed us with, including the Gospel itself (1 Corinthians 4:1, 1 Peter 4:10). As His people, we enjoy and make good use of those gifts for His glory and thus experience abundant life (John 10:10).
Stewards are people who have been entrusted with the responsibility to manage another’s resources in accordance with the owner’s vision and values. God has created us to be stewards (Genesis 1:28). We are to wisely use all of the gifts that God has given us according to His direction while being accountable to Him for how we do this.
“When I grasp that I’m a steward, not an owner, it totally changes my perspective. It’s the ultimate paradigm shift. Suddenly, I’m not asking, “How much of my money shall I, out of the goodness of my heart, give to God?” Rather, I’m asking, ‘Since all of ‘my’ money is really yours, Lord, how would you like me to invest it today?’… When I take to heart the truth that God has a claim, not merely on a few dollars to throw in an offering plate, not on 10% or 50%, but 100% of “my” money, it’s revolutionary. Suddenly, I’m not God. I’m simply God’s money manager. Money isn’t God. God is God. He is in His place; I am in mine, and money is in its place too.” – Randy Alcorn
What does it mean to Give Responsibly?
Christians are to give “according to their ability” (see Acts 11:29). There are seasons to economic life, and there are economic responsibilities to our families and to our debts. In many cases, good planning over time will be necessary to move our giving into proportions that reflect our eternal priorities without reneging on legal and personal financial obligations.
What does it mean to Give Proportionately?
We are to give out of what we have, not out of what we do not have. Each of us needs to prayerfully determine what generous giving is for each of our families; for some people, 10% is too low a starting point. For others, giving even 5% is a sacrifice. The goal is to increase one’s commitment up to and above 10% so that it models Christ’s love to our communities.
What does it mean to Give Sacrificially?
Paul, speaking about the Macedonians, says, “They gave as much as they were able and even beyond their ability” (II Corinthians 8:3). That means they gave until it required a sacrifice in their lifestyle.
What does it mean to Give Regularly?
Paul encouraged the Corinthian church that, “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Regular giving cultivates a lifestyle of generosity in the hearts of God’s people. Usually spontaneous or unplanned giving, while perhaps joyful, is not proportionate. The actual tally of completely spontaneous giving usually reflects little sacrifice. We must plan. We must allow the church to help with reminders and directions.
How can I evaluate my own heart with regard to money?
What do you most enjoy spending money on? What percentage of your income is going to:
1) God’s causes (church, Christian ministries)?
2) People in need (outside your family)?
How close is this amount to 10% of your income? Read Matthew 6:19-34, I Timothy 6:6-10, II Corinthians 8:1-15; 9:6-15. Do you need to adjust your giving in light of eternal values?
How do I evaluate the use of my “non-liquid” resources?
Are there resources besides your money that you could leverage for Christ and others. Do you have time to offer? Emotional or relational resources? Are you able to be a host to others? Provide transportation? There are many ways – besides giving our money – that we can give to the work and Kingdom of Christ.
How can I establish a regular plan of giving?
Follow these three steps (families should do these together):
1) Decide what percentage of your income you will give to the Lord’s work this year.
2) Now ask two questions: One one hand, is this a sacrificial figure? On the other hand, is it a responsible figure?
3) Now, whenever the money is received, set aside the Lord’s portion first. It is His, not yours. Remember — the more you trust God with your material treasure, the more He will entrust you with his spiritual treasure (Luke 16:9-12; II Corinthians 9:10-12).
What do we mean by tithe?
When we talk about the “tithe” we are referring to the Christian’s regular giving to the church.
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. However, if you were also to include what believers were to give for feasts, sacrifices, gleanings for the poor, and special offerings…it would amount to 23-25% of gross income. The New Testament does not specifically mention the tithe, but since we are far more blessed and indebted to God than were Old Testament believers, we assume that we are held more responsible for generosity, not less. Thus the tithe (10%) is a kind of minimum guideline for giving.
What do we mean by offerings?
By offerings we are referring to your gifts that are given to the ministry of the Church and the expansion of the Gospel that are over-and-above your regular tithe. In Scripture, these were called freewill offerings. An example of this for us would be the monthly mercy offering that we collect to meet the needs of those in and outside of the church, giving to a missionary or charitable organization, or to the “Laying Roots, Bearing Fruit” fund that we pray will increase the stability of our church and propel us through the crucial early years in the life of our church plant.