Why talk about giving?
- Maybe the best answer is that Jesus did, a lot!
- We’re a family, so it’s normal to give financial issues some regular attention.
- We notice a seasonal variation in giving which parallels our attendance pattern while expenses are stable month to month.
- This mismatch can result in cash-flow problems when we pay our monthly bills but have had a dip in giving for whatever reason…
Our methods of giving at Journey
- For most of our history we have been reliant on weekly “attendance based” offerings – mostly from money or checks deposited in the towers at the back of the church
- Two years ago we introduced the Journey app for mobile-giving which presently results in 16% of our giving. There is a cost for this convenience – 3% of the amount given is charged to the donor or to the church.
- Some in our congregation utilize “Electronic Funds Transfer” (EFT) from their bank or other financial institution. This results in no charges to the church or donor and regularizes giving because it is automated. It is arguably the safest and most anonymous way to pay as the church receives a EFT transfer or cashier’s check from a bank in your name, not a personal check from you.
What does the Bible say about “themes” in giving? We are to give…..
- Sacrificially: beginning with Abel and Cain, God has expected us to give him our best. (Gen 4, Mk 12:41). Journey worshippers have a history of giving sacrificially as needs arise. Last year’s Youth Auction is a great example of generous giving! Thank you!
- Anonymously: Jesus specifically condemned giving motivated by a desire to gain attention and respect (Matt 6:1-4). No one in Journey’s leadership – pastor, elders or Leadership Board members know what is given annually by any individual other than themselves. The tabulation of the weekly offering is based on a rotated responsibility and is done by two individuals each Sunday. April Monthy, our Administrative Coordinator, is the only person who is aware of ongoing giving patterns as she has to deposit the checks and provide annual receipts. PS: We are audited annually and have passed the various financial accountability tests with flying colors!
- Regularly: the concept of giving “first fruits” is a prominent theme in scripture (Ex 23:16 and 19, Nehemiah !0: 35). We are to give to God when and as we are given our “harvest” by God.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of each method of giving?
- Attendance based giving: This “feels” the best for donors as it involves the weekly manual preparation of a check or the setting aside of cash and then giving it physically to the church after/before worship. It is a way to teach our kids to give regularly. It demonstrates visually the importance of giving corporately. However, it is associated with fluctuations in overall giving to the church related to attendance, so it may not be the best for Journey’s cash flow.
- Journey App-based giving: This is definitely highly efficient and cool. It works great as a substitute for writing a check. However, it still is mostly attendance and reminder-based so it falls prey to the same concerns as attendance-based giving: irregularity. And, there is a small charge for each transaction (3%).
- Electronic Bank Fund Transfer giving: This is the least “manual” but the most efficient, easiest, most anonymous and automated way to give. The payments can be arranged to be made on “payday” (remember the concept of “firstfruits”). This method works best for the church, without a doubt, and has no cost. However, it lacks the visual, teachable, unifying and satisfying elements associated with attendance or app-based giving.
Leadership Board Recommendation/Request
- Thanks for your generous giving in whatever manner you presently give!
- Remember that giving is as much about your spiritual growth as it is about meeting Journey’s needs.
- If you give through the Journey App, consider paying the additional 3% charge associated with this convenience so the church receives your entire donation.
- Consider automated electronic bank fund transfer. This may help you and Journey as you “stabilize” your ongoing giving in the future.
Thanks for your thoughtful consideration, and blessings from the Leadership Board!