There is a simple reality that is most likely true in all our lives: we will invest our time, our money, and our resources into the things we deem most important. Pastor Rob shared this truth on Sunday, when he said, “The way you use your money directly reflects what you believe is most important in your life!” The sad reality is that we all have things that we prioritize over God, the church, and even our family. What does this tell us about ourselves and those around us? Simply, our hearts are filled with idols. Whether rich or poor, most people have idolized money at some level. We never seem to have enough money, no matter the lifestyle that we live. The way in which we spend, think, and talk about money usually is a reflection of our hearts. There are some national statistics strongly supporting the truth that people do not prioritize God and His Church. Unfortunately, Vintage Church reflects many of these same statistics.
|25% of adults consider themselves financially secure||3% of adults give above 10% of the average income of their zip code|
|4% of adults report having more than they need||97% give below 10% of the average income of their zip code|
|5% of adults give 10% or more of their income||In 2014, only 180 giving units above $250|
|Giving Per Capita of churches2:
||Giving Per Capita of Vintage:
Here are three steps to begin cultivating generosity in your life:
- Get In the Game
- At Vintage Church, we like to encourage people who have never given to just “Get in the Game.” Giving can be compared to a baby learning to walk. Most babies will learn to crawl long before they can stand on two feet, stay balanced, and begin taking steps. Likewise, “Getting in the Game” requires people to refrain from a cup of coffee or dinner out and redirecting that money as a gift to the local church. Many people think that their $20 does not make a difference, but it does. First and foremost, learning to give isn’t just about how much you give, but instead, it is cultivating a generous heart.
- Prioritize Giving
- Just “Getting in the Game” is not the end goal by any means. However, it is step that leads to regularly giving a specific percentage of our income. This step would be moving from sporadic giving to prioritized giving, which is prioritizing a certain percentage of your income to the local church. Like children maturing, our giving habits must continue to grow and reflect the internal work that Jesus is doing in our lives. Prioritizing a specific percentage of your income to give to the local church is a reliable way to begin measuring and increasing your generosity.
- Give Sacrificially
- For many, giving a specific percentage of their income is in reality easy. Even faithfully giving 10% of your income can become a monotonous and religious activity. However, even in our generosity we have fight to continue to be sacrificial. Being sacrificial is continually giving and investing into things that will make an eternal difference. Andy Stanley states, “. . .generosity helps us cultivate awareness of things that really matter, opportunities that make a real difference in the world—things that matter to our heavenly Father.”3 If giving has become a monotonous and religious activity, then I challenge you to examine your heart and increase your generosity.
I pray you have been challenged to be generous and to prioritize giving to the local church. Vintage Church truly believes that if we impact New Orleans, then we will impact the world. God has given great clarity and belief for future Kingdom impact that Vintage will have for Christ. Will you invest in God’s mission?
If you would like to begin giving faithfully and regularly to Vintage Church, you can do so at vintageunited.tv/give/. Your generous giving is changing lives!
1“American Donor Trends,” Barna Group, April 12, 2013, accessed June 2, 2015 https://www.barna.org/barna-update/culture/606-american-donor-%20trends#.VW4LB_nBzGc.
2Tony Morgan, “Measuring Church Health: how Much Money Should People Give,” Tony Morgan Live, August 30, 2013, accessed June 2, 2015 http://tonymorganlive.com/2013/08/30/measuring-church-health-how-much-money-should-people-give/.
3“Q&A with Andy Stanley: How To Be Rich,” Dallas Theological Seminary, January 7, 2014, accessed June 2, 2015, http://www.dts.edu/read/andy-stanley-how-to-be-rich-interview/.