The work of the Lord requires the talents and resources of His people. Each year, Westminster develops a budget which supports its mission and ministries. This work can only be accomplished through the tithes and offerings of the congregation. In addition to providing the financial needs of the church, giving is a vital part of each believer’s spiritual development and maturity. Giving requires two things of each of us: Faith and Faithfulness.
Giving is an expression of our faith that affirms God as our provider and His ability to supply all that we need. We trust God by giving in faith. Our Lord promises to give every obedient Christian an overflowing, joyous life regardless of his financial position. Jesus told His followers, “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.”
Faithful giving is not always easy and can come with everyday challenges (growing family needs, fixed income for retirees, loss of a job, an unexpected major expense, saving for retirement, etc.). Faithful giving, based foremost on faith, requires several things which Christians must develop as they mature in Christ, including:
- Proper intent for giving – giving is an act of worship to honor and glorify God (not ourselves) and to show our love for God. To truly trust God for your finances, you must also keep your heart and motives pure.
- Good stewardship of our finances – budget within our means; systematic giving plan is included in our budget; careful use of credit cards, learning “how to afford” giving back to God, etc.
- Giving from our heart that is done willingly, generously and cheerfully.
- Giving at the beginning of the month instead of the end of the month – not literally but figuratively, i.e., we give from the bounty that God has provided not from what is leftover.
- Caring nature for others – Follow Jesus’ command to “Love others as well as you love yourself.”
- Asking God to supply our needs – Faith requires action.
Giving Honors the Lord
Giving is a part of our stewardship of the things that God has freely given to us and is a vital part of our spiritual development and maturity. In the Old Testament, God commanded His people to give a tithe (1/10) of their first fruits. Under the New Covenant, we have every gift of God’s provision including the gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus commands us to give freely from the heart (Matt. 23:23). To support God’s work, Paul commands the NT church to “set aside as you have prospered” (1 Cor 16:2). In 2 Cor 8:8-9 and 9:6-8, Paul encourages joyful and generous giving “not of commandment or necessity but out of genuine love.”
As your faith in God and His love and trustworthiness grows, you will learn to give according to the principles noted above. We learn to take God at His word to supply from His unlimited resources. You give as God supplies.
Difference between Tithes and Offerings
Your tithe represents the basis of Christian stewardship in response to honoring what God expects from you as laid out in Scripture. Offerings are gifts made above and beyond the scriptural tithe. Your tithe is used to support the General Budget of the church while Offerings are used to support specific areas for “designated” uses. When giving to Westminster, your donation is applied to the Budget by default unless a Designated Fund is specified.
- Budget (General Fund) – These funds are used to pay for everyday operations of the church including salaries, office expenses, utilities, maintenance, budget debt service, ministry programs, missions, and benevolence ministries.
- Pledge of Faith – These contributions are used to provide additional supports for various mission activities (above that provided by Benevolences in the General Fund Budget).
- Alms – All contributions to this fund are used to provide financial support to congregational members in need. Contributions to Alms may be placed in the special Alms Box at the back of the sanctuary (next to the sound booth).