Note on Online Giving:
Online gifts go to our general fund just like putting cash or checks in the offering plate. If you would like to send along a memorial or other gift, please send it via check to the church.
Why we Give:
While many are familiar with the biblical concept of tithing (giving the first 10% of your income to God, see Leviticus 27:30-34), many are unaware of the more robust story of stewardship in the Bible. First, while 10% is a great percentage to shoot for, we have multiple stories (Luke 21:1–4, Acts 2:44-46, etc.) suggesting more and less can both be appropriate and that God is concerned more with a spirit of generosity than an exact figure. Second, the story of stewardship is much deeper and wider than simply giving to the church. In fact, it starts on the first pages of the Bible. In Genesis 1:26-30, God creates the human in His image and gives us dominion over all the earth. Given this dual role, we know our dominion is not a license to exploit and destroy what we come in contact with, but rather to lead it as image bearers of God. Stewardship through giving of our time, energy, and finances is how we exercise our God-given dominion over creation in ways that reflect His image onto the world. In short, our giving and generosity is designed by God to be a practice wherein we increase the common good among us all.
What we do with the Money we Receive:
First Christian Church has a fairly typical church budget. Giving pays for utilities, insurance, staff salaries, and supports the various ministries we do throughout the year. Specifics can be found by setting up a meeting with the church’s financial secretary. Historically, our church has been a strong supporter of mission work and world outreach, with a sizeable portion of our budget going directly to those projects and causes.
How should Christians Handle Money?
On one end of the spectrum, we see that the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil (1 Tim. 6:10). But, on the other end of the spectrum, we see that only a fool would spend everything they have (Prov. 21:20). What this shows us is the need for a golden mean between two extremes – the call to be wise stewards means we are not overly flippant with our resources. But, we are also not greedy or overly focused on money.
Five Ways to Give at Church:
- Unpledged Cash and Checks: Whenever you feel so led, you can put cash or checks into the offering plate.
- Pledged Cash and Check Giving: Each year, we send out a pledge card to better estimate our budget for the year. While you can add, subtract, or cease giving at any time, pledges are very helpful for us as we plan our budget.
- Qualified Charitable Donations (QCDs): For folks 70 1/2 or older, you may be able to distribute a donation from an IRA without it counting towards your taxable income. Talk to your financial manager if this method is preferable.
- Online Giving via a debit card: We use Tithe.ly which keeps the information encrypted and secure. You can use this as a one-time donation or as a recurring donation. Note that there is a fee associated with this method (if you give $100, a withdrawal from your account will be for $100 and the church will receive approx. $96.80).
- Online Giving via ACH / bank-to-bank: Using Tithe.ly in the same way you would donate with a debit card, you can choose to set it up as an ACH payment. This connects your bank electronically and lowers the associated fee for the church (approx. $98.70 out of $100). Alternatively, you can set up an ACH transfer directly through your bank.
Help with Financial Planning:
While the church is not in a position to give any specific financial advice, we do recommend wise stewardship. To that end, Dave Ramsey is a popular financial speaker who outlined an effective means to get out of debt. Of course, he’s not the only person online with an opinion about how folks should spend their money! But, his approach does provide a solid baseline and can reduce financial risk.
If you need immediate help, please review the list of agencies provided by the United Way as found on our Resources page. First Christian Church primarily supports folks through these institutions to better ensure accountability and to maximize the amount of help each dollar can provide.