By Ryan Weber
In preparing to write this blog, I did what any rational person would do. I googled the topic I was given to write about. The answers I got back all had to do with the local church working to increase the giving of its members/attenders. From a church leadership perspective, there is a practical element of giving, which is probably why Google is littered with those websites. To be real, there is no other way for the lights to stay on, the air-conditioning to work, and for the staff and pastors to get paid without the generosity of its members/partners. We can’t ignore these practical sides to generosity.
The problem most people have, again to be frankly transparent, is that most people don’t trust that the church is going to use their hard-earned money wisely. I totally get that. That’s why giving to a local church needs to be tied into your own passion for the mission, vision, and values of the local body you belong to.
Because at its root, giving to the church is an investment.
We live in a world, especially in America, that the idea of investment immediately brings to mind an element of return. Our ROI (Return On Investment) gives us reason to invest in the first place. If I am not going to get anything in return for the financial investment I am making, it’s probably not a very good investment.
But we’re not talking about the stock market. We’re talking about the Kingdom of God. And that ROI looks a little different. Our ROI is people being humbly pointed to absolute Hope. Our ROI is watching people transform into disciples of Jesus. Our ROI, simply put, is life change.
So how do you invest in the church?
- Through your tithe. The principle of tithing is your most consistent way to invest. Finding a local church that you can consistently invest in through your tithes gives you the opportunity to see the mission of your church carried out. If you are bought into the mission and vision of Journey Church, part of being a contributing partner is supporting our work through your financial contributions. We want to humbly point everyone to absolute Hope. If this is something that you are passionate about, and believe Journey works to make this happen in the Lake Norman community, invest in the work through your participation: by your active engagement through volunteering/service and your financial contributions to see the ministry successfully fulfill its mission.
- Give to individual missionaries. This principle hits home for me as I prepare to head to Haiti with a group of students and their families. I can tell you there is nothing that makes me more proud and excited for the future state of the church than watching a group of teenagers sacrificially offering their time and resources to give hope to people in a third world country. I’ve seen our teens pray through their calling, work through their fears, and trust that God is going to provide all the necessary funds to send them on their mission trip. You may not have the margin to go to Haiti, Kenya, Peru, or West Virginia, but in financially investing in those who do, you play a huge role in pointing people to absolute Hope through our strategic partners around the world.
- Give above and beyond for specific ministry purposes. There are opportunities to give specifically to areas of ministry that align with your own passions and individual areas that you wish to give to. Whether it’s an individual donation to Bags of Hope, a scholarship for a student to go to Core Adventures, helping a child to go to Camp KidJam, or if you have a specific desire for a particular area of ministry, the church is not going to say no when you want to step out in generosity to make something happen for an individual or a ministry. If you have a passion you want to give your time and money to, step into that and understand that the church exists to help you invest in the things you care about. If you wish to see a particular ministry be taken to the next level, partnering financially with them is a huge way to support them. Or if you have a ministry that you are passionate about that Journey is not doing, talk to the staff and work to launch it yourself! There’s nothing that we celebrate more than people stepping into their God-given desires to see people pointed to Hope!
When it comes to investing in God’s Kingdom, remember that you can never out-give God. Your return on investment will never return void if you are sold out to building God’s Kingdom in our community!