Over the past three weeks, our sermons have been exploring the question, “What if…?”  As you’ve heard me say again and again throughout this series, this question when framed properly is filled with potential and possibility. We’ve asked: “What if we humble ourselves and pray?,” “What if we do something extraordinary?,” and “What if we seek God first?”  This week, we will take up the question, “What if we worked together?” and we will have the chance to commit ourselves and our gifts to God and the ministry of the church during worship.

Friends, this is important because giving is about more than just supporting the ministries and the budget of the church. Giving is an affirmation of our faith in Jesus Christ. Let me explain what I mean: if we can give our money away, we are declaring that our money is not our God, that we are not slaves to money, and that we are allowing Jesus Christ to be Lord of every part of our life—even our financial life. Giving is an act of faith!

Giving is a choice that allows us to grow. When you give faithfully, you are not only declaring that Jesus Christ is Lord of every part of your life, but you are also empowering mission and ministry here at Pittman Park and around the world. Your simple act of giving, combined with those around you, unleashes incredible potential for God to work through your life and in our world.

As you consider your generosity here at Pittman Park, here is some advice about giving that I have found to be wise:

  1. Give First When you receive your next paycheck, make your first expense an act of giving. Often times, we wait to see how much we have left over before we determine how much we can give away. The problem is that most of the time after we start spending, there is nothing left over. The habit of spending all of it is too deeply ingrained in our lives. To counteract that cycle, give first. The act of giving first helps to discipline our financial lives.
  2. Give Regularly Part of disciplining our financial lives and blessing others is determining how often we will give. While scripture defines a tithe as 10% of your income, how you give that 10% is up to you. There are some who will give weekly, others who give monthly, and still others who give their tithe once a year. Any of these practices is acceptable, but each requires us to be disciplined in our choice to be generous.
  3. Grow In Your Generosity I believe that God wants to grow every part of our lives, by that I mean that in the same way that God wants us to become more loving, more joyful, more peaceful, more patient, that God also wants us to become more generous as we grow in our faith. Perhaps you have never given to the church, start by giving 1% this year and then be intentional to grow to 2% next year. If you’re giving a tithe, perhaps God is calling you to give more than 10% to bless others and the church through your generosity.

What if we take a step of faith together by choosing to be generous givers who share God’s blessings for the sake of God’s Kingdom? I think incredible things could happen!

God bless and see you this Sunday,

Jonathan Smith
For Jesus. For People. For Community.