Thrive is about living with margin and living on mission. Living without margin can be crippling, and we want to help! Sign up for the Financial Learning Experience at our campuses this weekend and make sure you listen to Paralyzed – the first message in the Thrive series.
And Thrive is also about living on mission. A big part of living on mission is learning to give what God has given to us generously to others. Over the centuries, Christians have practiced this by giving the first 10% of our income to the work of the local church. It’s called tithing (a word that means one tenth).
Everyone approaches giving to God’s work differently. We thought it would be fun (and helpful) to name four approaches to giving as we get ready to give to our Thrive Offering as part of Thrive.
As you get ready to bring your Thrive Offering in week three of Thrive, here’s a way to think about the kind of giver you might be:
- The “I Never Knew” giver. Whether you grew up in church or not, you never really saw giving as a spiritual issue. You didn’t know giving was a spiritual discipline. Whether you thought churches just magically appeared or denominations funded them, you didn’t realize that the Waumba Land down the hall for your little baby was funded by the guy sitting next to you because he loves Jesus and he loves people who don’t go to church. It’s not that you didn’t care…you just didn’t know. Thrive is your chance to become a giver.
- The “I Know But…” giver. You know that giving is biblical and maybe even important, but you don’t give. At least not much. Sometimes that’s because you’ve spent your money on everything else, but sometimes it’s because you don’t trust churches and church leaders. You’re cynical. This is your chance to become a giver too. And if you’re cynical about Thrive, here’s my challenge – please give to another cause. Give because it’s good for you. Even if you don’t trust us, trust somebody and give the money away. You will grow spiritually. I promise.
- The Inconsistent Giver. It’s not that you don’t want to give – you do! You’re on board. Sort of. One week you give $10. The next week $5. Occasionally you might give $50. But then you had that hockey tournament and vacation and the month where the furnace broke and you realize it’s been two months since you’ve last given. It’s not that you don’t want to. It’s just that you don’t. The Thrive offering is your chance to become a consistent giver. The best way to do that is to automate your givings. We’ll show you how in Part 3 of Thrive.
- The Generous Giver. You’re a rare breed. You actually tithe. You give a full 10% of your gross income (maybe even 12% or 15%) to the local church. Now that really is incredible and trust me – ministry leaders are grateful! You’d think maybe we should all put up a big congratulations sign and maybe even that God is pleased. Which is where the problem lies. Those of us who give generously can become proud. So here’s a game changer – what if tithing wasn’t the finish line in giving, but the start line? What if tithing was the training wheels of faith? If God owns it all, and he’s blessed you, why not ask him how much more he can grow your faith if you trust him with more? That’s a big challenge, but my guess is one day we all stand back and wish we had done more in this life to introduce people to Jesus. I know I will.
So there’s a little something to get you thinking. We’re taking up the Thrive offering on April 10 in Barrie and April 17 in Orillia. We’re fasting and praying again Friday and would love for you to join us as we imagine together what can happen when a community Thrives. What kind of giver are you? And what step will you take?