Giving to Hope Church
On Sunday 6th November we took the opportunity to have a one off special giving Sunday. On the Sunday morning we talked through 2 Corinthians chapter 8 & 9 about what excelling in the grace of giving looks like. On the morning we talked about the principle of giving, and also what it looks like to give on a regular basis to the local church. In this blog, we bullet point some of the key things that come out of the passage as well as show ways in which we apply them at Hope Church. You can listen here, and/or read on at your own leisure.
The book of 2 Corinthians show us what it means to be an an Authentic Church. In chapter 8 and 9 it specifically shows us that an Authentic Church excels in the grace of giving by the following…
1) They know God’s grace (2 corinthians chapter 8 verses 1 - 2)
Grace was given to the Macedonians which meant that severe trial plus extreme poverty welled up in overflowing joy and generosity. This equation only makes sense because they know the grace they have received from God. This undeserved, unmerited, unearned free gift of God's own son, Jesus. In the light of the eternal glory that he brings, joy and generosity can be found in the face of affliction and poverty.
2) They give voluntarily (2 Corinthians chapter 8 verses 3 - 7)
They pleaded, entirely on their own, to give as much as they were able. They Made a choice! They did this by first giving themselves to God, and then out of that relationship to others. At Hope Church, giving is entirely a voluntary thing, which each individual is encouraged to think about for themselves.
3) They give sacrificially (2 Corinthians chapter 8 verses 8 - 9)
Just as Jesus gave up all the riches of heaven to serve and not be served, St. Paul encourages us that the authenticity of our faith, our spiritual health as it were, is tested by our willingness to do the same.
4) They give proportionately (2 Corinthians chapter 8 verses 10 - 12)
They gave according to their means, and according to what they had, not according to what they don’t have. It's not faith to pledge to give what you don't own. It's important that each individual gives from what they have. A good way to think about this is like a plant. Plants grow to the size that their pots allow them to. Big pot, big plant, small pot, small plant. In the same way, our giving will grow and shrink, overtime depending on our circumstances - that's ok. That's biblical. We give proportionately.
5) They give counter culturally (2 Corinthians chapter 8 verses 13-15)
There has been a tendency since the beginning of time to gather more than what one needs. It is the way of the world, yet here we are encouraged to just gather what we need and not follow the example of the people in exodus that had rotting maggots in their manna. Counter cultural giving reminds us that it really is better to give than receive.
6) The church receive gifts with integrity (2 Corinthians chapter 8 verses 16 - 24)
The history of the church is not always pretty when it comes to receiving money from people. Integrity is not just doing what’s right, but being seen to do what’s right. It’s why it’s important for churches to be above reproach, especially with their giving. Hope Church is called to be above reproach with the money we receive, not just for the Lord, but for the sake of our community.
We look to do that by...
Establishing policies for secure handling, counting and recording of all gifts.
Preparing and managing a budget.
Conducting an external accounting audit annually.
Providing regular reports and annual amounts to our Trustees and to the Charity Commission.
Providing a financial report to the church each January.
7) The individual gives with integrity (2 Corinthians chapter 9 verses 1 - 5)
Paul encourgaes us, like he did in Chapter 1, to let our yes be yes. i.e. if we pledge to give, then we should bring that gift to completion and fulfil our pledges.
8) They give generously (2 Corinthians chapter 9 verses 6 - 11)
God loves a cheerful giver, one who has decided in their heart and then gives. As we do this, He promises to 'enlarge the harvest of our righteousness'. He says, 'you will be enriched on every occasion, so that you can be generous on every occasion'. We’re called to to give joyfully and generously, not under compulsion or reluctantly. When we do this, v7 says "God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work". Generous giving is going above and beyond!
9) They give worshipfully (2 Corinthians chapter 9 verses 12 - 15)
As we excel in the grace of giving, we should expect this to well up thanksgiving and praise, in those that receive our gifts, and in us. Giving is nor a mournful, reluctant, shameful, cohesive thing, but an authentic church knows that it is joyful and part of our true worship to God.
If you would like to give to Hope church, you can do so directly here, or through your bank, using the following details...
Sort code 20-35-35 Account number 23259587 Account name Hope Church Guildford Ltd
Everything we receive as a church is given by those who attend. We're so grateful for the generosity of those that call Hope Church their home. This enable us to exist as a church, pay the staff, run the premises, put on events and courses that enable people to come to know Jesus. We also ensure that over 10% of everything we receive as a church is given to local and international needs - we call these our Hope Works. A significant partner is Commission. Commission is the name of the family of churches to which Hope Church belongs. Commission seeks to start and support existing churches, develop leaders, reach people with the gospel, and serve the poor.
To find out more, visit our website, or come along in person any Sunday to the Royal Grammar School, Guildford, GU1 3BB at 10am.