This was the strapline for a message I preached last week about giving called “The Success Factor” (check it out online)– part of our Treasure Hunt series. I found it uncomfortable because money is such a touchy subject in church. But the problem with many of us is not that we dont WANT to give to God’s work, we just don’t know HOW TO. That’s why we need to get organised.
Most of run our lives on the basis of SPEND – SAVE - GIVEin decreasing amounts for each of those categories. In fact,there is so much to spend on, often little is saved or given, no matter how much we earn. Financial institutions and lending bodies recognise this as your pattern; thats why they absolutely INSIST that you repay your mortgage or your car loan by direct debit. They don’t just allow you to decide how much to pay back by how much you’ve got left over at the end of the month. No, they insist you make the regular commitment and give them access to your bank account to take the money!
To organise means to turn your list – to run your life on the basis of GIVE – SAVE – SPEND. Paul wrote to the Corinthians to encourage them to give to the special collectionfor the believers in Jerusalem. He encouraged them to “set it aside” (ch 16 v1) i.e. to plan, decide, agree, have a plan – not just to rummage around in a pocket or purse to see what is there. Organise it. Likewise in his great chapter on giving in 2Corinthians 9 he urges them to “decide” in their hearts. Thatswhy a standing order or direct debit is such a great thing. Money comes in and then you give it without hardly noticing. And if you Gift Aid it also, then the government will give back to your chosen recipient another big whack on top to be used for God’s work (Don’t take this for granted – it wont last forever) Many think it’s unspiritual to think like that – but it’s actually incredibly WISE and prudent and God-honouring.It’s practical discipleship.
Most Christian organisations and churches suffer from a lack of praying and a lack of giving, which hinder the fulfilment of vision. Our own 60 for 60 appeal in Newtownbreda is a simple yet challenging concept. An extra £60,000 to celebrate 60 years of our life and witness. And to enable us to go forward in the areas of missions, childrens work, facilities,evangelistic events and to give us a financial buffer so that when sudden unexpected needs arise, we can respond quickly. Thereby, we believe we honour the Lord. Spread over 2014 and spread between our entire congregation, the target becomes possible. But we all need to organise , not to agonise.