We cast the vision for the coming year with vision targets and seek to prayerfully respond. We believe that where God calls he equips, but also understand that often we are the answers to our own prayers. So we have to ask questions, with the Lord, about what and when and how we give. We certainly need to revisit the key principles of biblical giving. I work on the basis of 'tithe & offering' as I am a simple soul that needs a framework and I find this in the Bible. I seek to give a minimum of 10% (tithe) to the part of the body of Christ that I belong with and I seek to give 'offerings' over and above what I am already giving.
Our vision targets for this year are:
BASE - to build up our 'base camp' - the church centre with appropriate admin and communications to be able to support the mission of the whole church. Building development, staff costs, practical things like the website.
COMMUNITIES - to build up and invest in the development of MSC's, releasing at least two MSC's in 2009
PIONEER - to fund the employment of Rachel as a pioneer to build up and develop work amongst children and families
While thinking about giving the following thoughts occurred to me.
... devotion. Our hearts, our worship, our love for him not of money
Jesus said something about treasure and hearts. When I give I demonstrate devotion - where my heart is.
... discipline. Martin Luther talked about people needing two conversions, one of the heart and the second of the pocketbook(wallet). Finances that aren't submitted to God get in the way of my relationship with him. Jesus said 'when you give' - in other words it is part of life - a discipline. It is something we have to learn and develop in our lives. It is good training to give.
...development. Our relationship with the Lord will develop and grow at times through the exercise of trust and faith to do with finances. Sometimes I will be stretched in my finances in order to help me grow in faith – he may ask me to give, to sacrifice as a loving act that releases more blessing and more trust in him. Furthermore God doesn't need us to give - he doesn't need money - but he does want us to exercise the kingdom principle of 'freely you have received, freely give'. In the exercise of giving, of sometimes being broken in this area we find that other breakthroughs come.