Grace Communion Church – Money, Money, Money

One thing that worries people about coming to a church service is the thought of having to give money at the weekly offering. So our visitors are pleasantly surprised to find we don’t have weekly offerings. We do have an offering at our Easter service, another one at Pentecost, one in the autumn and one at Christmas, although not at our carol service so we avoid asking any visitors for money.

So we only ask for money four times a year, which takes away one objection for people thinking of coming to one of our services. So how do we survive financially as a church? We teach tithing, which is the biblical principle of giving one tenth of your net income to the church. But the local pastoral team, including me, have no idea if our members are doing so. That is between them and God.

Also in nearly all our churches in the UK we have bi-vocational pastors. That means we don’t get paid by the church, we have to have a job and earn our own living. That helps us to stay close to our members, as we face all the same problems as them. It also means we have committed and faithful pastors, dedicated to serving God and the members, because we do it out of love and a desire to serve, not for a salary.

That may seem strange, as we live in a money obsessed material world, to work for nothing but the satisfaction of serving. But lots of other people who volunteer to work for charities, for old or young people, in hospices, as street pastors or in other ways volunteer their time and effort for nothing.

Whenever people serve others, for no financial reward, whether they realise or not they are following the example of the ultimate servant, Jesus Christ. As a servant, Christ gave his time and effort to serving people, and often it was people regarded by the culture of that time as unworthy, people who could give nothing in return. In the end, Jesus gave himself, his life, to pay the penalty of sin for all humanity. For this, and throughout his earthly ministry, He asked for no financial reward. His gift of himself for all humanity is far beyond any amount of money that any individual, or every individual, could give.

So don’t let money, or the fear of losing it, stand between you and God

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