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The Church Just Wants Your Money (Part Four)

Part Four

Recap last week
1. Most people desire to help others.
2. Most people can help others.

Text: 2 Corinthians 9:7-9 NLT
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say,
“They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”

3. Most everyone will help others if given an opportunity.
Today, let’s talk about opportunities to help others as it relates to money.
A. Contrary to what some think, the church does not just want your money.
However, if the local church is going to live out its mission, it will take generous giving by those who believe in that mission.
· It is, therefore, imperative that we understand the mission.
Many people don’t give or feel compelled to give because they do not understand the need nor where the money goes. There’s just no compelling vision.

Why are we here? Why do we this? What is it that motivates us? Where are we going with this?
We exist to connect people to God to become fully devoted followers of Christ.

Why are we here? Why do we do this? To:
Train our children.
Restore our families.
Impact our community/world.

· Our impact and reach has grown to where it requires full-time pastors and administrative teams, a crew to maintain the buildings and grounds, and hundreds of volunteers – almost 900 last year.

· Our efforts to live out the mission and vision requires curriculum and equipment.

· Ministries such as Celebrate Recovery, Hope Again Care Center, our Royal Oak campus, Royal Family Kids' Camp, Upward Sports (800-1000 kids), Reach Student Ministries, Kids' Ministries, Advance Ministries, Splash Zone Outreach, Fall Festival, Freedom Celebration, and on and on, are all designed and purposed to reach people for Christ. Hundreds of people are coming to Jesus every year through these ministries.

· Our world outreach is responsible for 4 groups in less than a year travelling to Nicaragua, building and funding a church, repairing churches, ministering to hundreds of kids and feeding the hungry.
Israel – you’ve given tens of thousands to bringing Jewish families from all over the world back to Israel in fulfillment of last days’ prophecy. You and me right now are fulfilling prophecy from 2500 years ago! We’ve helped bring 150,000 Jews home to Israel. We are feeding and clothing many of them. By the way, the ministry desperately needs to purchase a new car for use in northern Israel. The car is $25,000 and the tax is $25,000. Pray that the Lord will lay it on hearts to give.

China, Philippines, Cambodia, Romania, the Caribbean – we just shipped 100 chairs to St. Kitts for a church that has struggled for years to get a building adequate for ministry, and the list continues. Your giving is walking in obedience to the Great Commission of going into all the world to preach the Gospel to every creature.

· Here’s the point. When people say, “That church out there in the corn field just wants your money,” they don’t know how many thousands of people around the world we are touching and helping to find the love of Jesus. Our livestream reaches an average 260 per week; and over the last 4 years, our sermons have been viewed 177,500 times.

· They don’t see the 350 families a month getting food and prayer and love at Hope Again. Just last week, I had an elderly, retired, physically -challenged couple tell me as I visited with them, “We don’t know how we’d survive without the food we get from the Care Center.”

· Oh, I could go on all day. You who are tithing and giving, you are making a difference.
And the need just keeps growing. People are hurting. Lives are broken. We can do more! We must get to the place we say “no” to no one, but help all who need it!

Here’s a point that must be made: If every Christian tithed, there would be enough money to feed, clothe, and educate every child in the world and have billions left over for ministry.

Let me talk about the tithe. I’ve got to admit to you that it really concerns me that so many believers devalue the significance of tithing. God established a principle with His people - an eternal principle - of giving to Him our first and our best. He established that principle and set it at 10%.

The tithe was and is an opportunity God gives us to:
1. Demonstrate our faith and trust.
2. Walk in obedience to God-given principles.
3. To live disciplined lives.
4. And to provide a place for worship, community, spiritual development, care for the poor, and the proclamation of His Word.

I believe it is vital to our church and future that we understand this concept.
· The Bible teaches us with the tithe, responsibility giving, and with our offerings, sacrificial giving.

· Tithing is the foundation of our stewardship. Tithing is being a responsible Christ-follower. When we tithe, we are accepting the responsibility of the church and mission. It is our responsibility. So we tithe on our incomes, our profits, our first-fruits. And God makes promises to us over and again that we will be blessed when we are responsible givers.

Offerings are or can be sacrificial giving. Tithing is for the local church, not television ministries, or missions, or a neighbor in need. But offerings are for specific or designated ministries.

The point here is, I cannot give sacrificially until I have first given responsibly.

Every week or bi-weekly, or however we receive our compensation, we should:
A. Write a check for at least 10% of our income, mark the check or envelope as “tithe” and give it.

B. Or many are giving online now.
· You can go to our website.
· You can go to our app.
· Or give by texting. (540-613-1661)

C.  Or some give cash. Use the envelope and mark it where it should go.

Designate what is tithing – our responsible giving – and what is offering – our sacrificial giving.

I was handed this note last week. “A checkbook is a theological document. It reveals who or what you worship.”

Somewhere in our walk with Jesus, giving will become something you love to do instead of feeling obligated to do.

Of course, starting to tithe can be scary – can I make it on 90%? Can I afford to do this? And beginning to tithe may be tough to make yourself do as you start. But, I promise you, as you do and you begin to see the blessings of God and favor on your life, you will come to love giving.

· All of us are here today because others have given through the years.
1. The Millers – their home on Orchard Avenue.
2. A few members to build a basement.
3. A few more to build a sanctuary on Roosevelt Blvd.
4. A group of excited believers who gave, and for one year worked day and night to build again on Roosevelt and Papermill Road.
And a group of 300 who caught a vision and took a leap of faith and built out here, and now developed a campus of 30 acres and a ministry with over 2,000 members, touching the world.

But none of it could be done if people through the years had not become responsible givers of tithe and sacrificial givers with offerings and time and talent. And here’s the hard truth. As we approach the coming of the Lord, turbulent and desperate times, a future generation depends upon what you and I choose today to do about our giving. We absolutely cannot afford not to tithe and give. A broken and dying world is at stake.