It's Sunday morning, everyone's singing, and you're grateful you came to church. Then you sit down, and the pastor announces that the offering basket is coming around (or he puts that link on the screen because no one carries cash these days). You start to wonder, "Is this all a scam? Does this church care about improving my relationship with God, or is this just about getting my money?" Many people have doubts about giving to any church, even if they've attended for years. Although we often call it "giving to God," flawed humans organize every church, and there's no sacred spell that guarantees their honesty. So why should you give to your local church? Let’s look at some misconceptions that may discourage you from giving.
While giving to causes outside your church is great, we have a calling to support church ministry. Your local church grows the Church (the family of God) because of people like you. God tells us to submit our finances to Him, which means trusting He wants us to give even when we can't micromanage the outcome. And when we do see the impact it makes, we can praise God for how He uses our money! Material possessions can distract us from our true purpose unless we choose to surrender all to God's will. Money is a tool for us to practice discernment and faith, and that matters to our Heavenly Father. Everything we have belongs to Him, and we can act out our gratitude by following Jesus with our wealth. God sees your heart when you give, and He wants you to feel the change that generosity brings to your relationship with Him. Through any of your concerns, you can seek wisdom through prayer and Scripture.
“Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” - 1 Chronicles 29:13-14
There have been times when I've thought, "I'll start giving when I have a good chunk I can give every month." If you have similar thoughts, you need to know that there's no minimum amount that matters. Every cent counts. If you only have a few dollars left after you've paid your bills, you can make an impact. Just think, if a hundred people give one dollar per month, that's $100. In a year, that’s $1,200. That’s certainly not pocket change. Next time you look at your budget, don't ask if you can afford to give, decide that you will give, no matter how small the sum. As Pastor Chad says, “The most important number is 100; 100% of people giving something.”
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” - Mark 12:41-44
You may have heard that those who give will gain prosperity. There is truth to it because giving will bring you closer to God, which will improve your life more than anything else. However, God doesn't promise to give our money back to us or make us rich if we're generous. God knows the best way to bless our lives, and our job is to trust Him. As we follow God's will, we will reap benefits in our lives, whether it's what we expect or not. Ultimately, tithing is investing in our community and the mission God created us for. What could be a more worthy use of our money?
Written Content Coordinator at Sun Valley Community Church. An avid writer since the age of 5, who loves to explore new ideas and places. Inspired by Jesus, books, and travel.