Giving And Generosity
Jesus said “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be given to you as well”. Jesus spoke a lot about trusting in God and linked this with how we respond in generosity to God and to others. All of us have calls on our financial resources, be it car bills, household expenses, dentistry, or the basics of food, fuel, and fabric, i.e. the food we eat, the energy we pay for and the clothes we wear. When Jesus calls us to look at the flowers and the birds and observe how they are clothed and fed, is he calling us to some dream like outlook on life that does not face realities?
The answer is no! Jesus knew about realities. He had a group of women follow him, some of whom came from Herod’s household and they helped to provide for his needs. He valued the hospitality of Martha and Mary and Peter and his family. In fact hospitality is a good place to start when we are thinking about how we can give generously. In 1 Peter 4:9 Peter advises Christians to offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of us should use says Peter whatever gift we have to serve others. Some of us don’t have lots of money, but I know of so many examples of real and genuine caring and generosity that happen and that is so encouraging. Maybe, just maybe God may be calling you to this ministry of hospitality.
Helping to fund youth work through Ignite and our Partnership youth work: all these things cost money. Holiday clubs and worship resources, paying for, heat and light, literature and audio visual equipment cost a lot. The modern church costs more to run than 20 years ago. BUT we have an amazing God, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He is so generous he gave the world his only son Jesus. God is not a cost cutting God, he provides food for 5,000 people, and he floods a wedding with an abundance of good wine. God is generous and we are simply called to respond. In the year ahead there are going to be many opportunities to see people come to faith (maternity), times when we can grow as Christians (Nurture) and the chance to take out our faith to the community and the world (Adventure). Training our Children’s Leaders and helpers, giving to Toy Box, CMS and MAF, helping to fund youth work,
all these things cost money, but they mean lives transformed and that is worth
Several of our training days e.g. Training for
Mission and evangelism have been facilitated by people from the
Mission and Ministry Team in the Diocese of Bristol. We pay a quota to the Diocese and they in turn provide us with a lot of resources.
The point of our giving is not to do God a favour; rather it is a response to the love of God, and the money we give means that others hear of the Good news of Jesus Christ. When as Manly Hopkins says we give to the point of sensible inconvenience it changes the whole person: our mind, our will, indeed everything. When we become Christians, our giving has a new impetus. We are called to give generously, and with joy, as a fruit of the Spirits life within us.
Down to practicalities! Giving for Ministry and Mission.
You can give with a one off gift. Tina Wheeler our Treasurer can advise you how to gift aid this if you are a tax payer. You can give through an envelope scheme. You can give by direct debit (monthly) and this helps so much with budgeting, and as a discipline it helps to know how much you can assign regularly to your giving.
And/or you can continue to give on a Sunday into the collection as part of your act of worship. The point is to pray about it, to ask God how much you can set aside, and then to do it joyfully. God honours such giving. By our giving we can be part of God’s work today. Even in tough economic times it’s as we give that God pours out his abundance on us, and that has got to be worth it!