Saturday, October 04, 2008

How to Give During an Economic Downturn

There is little doubt that people world round are suffering financially. I have talked with pastors all across the nation who have seen quite an impact on offerings, and on Tuesday, our staff sat down and cut a large chunk out of our budget as well.  Income is down, so naturally tithing will be down. 10% of less is obviously less.  Also, those who give to God out of their abundance is also going to be down.  We as a church know that for the foreseeable future, we will have less income with which to do ministry.  Now here is the good news.  God is not limited by budget constraints. So as a church we refuse to pull back from ministry.  We must do more with less and God is able to make that happen.  Individually, giving will require more faith.  Bottom line, faith is only necessary when things are bad.  I want to encourage everyone to remain faithful in your giving no matter what the economy does.  Giving comes in two varieties.  1. Our tithes - this is the standard amount that the Bible gives as an example of regular giving. As far as I am concerned this is a no brainer.  Failing to give back to God, this portion is something you should not do.  God can do more with 90% than you can do with 100%.  Be faithful.  2. Offerings.  Offerings are our way of showing God that we love him and that we are putting him first in our lives.  At Cornerstone, many give extra every week towards our land fund or towards differing missions projects.  Giving above and beyond takes a real step of faith, and the Bible is full of people who gave out of their poverty and God truly blessed it.  As a church we are exited about the economic downturn.  Churches exist to teach people to trust in God, and not to put their trust in the things of this world. It is our prayer that during these economically tough times that believers will increase their faith by continuing to give and that unbelievers will come to trust in God, rather than in the volatile markets.