July 2009 - Church of God of Prophecy

cogop.org

July 2009 - Church of God of Prophecy

Developing

a Giving Church

Part 1

W

ouldn’t you love to see people freely obeying God in their giving? We

know that God loves a cheerful giver, but I know that many churches

would shout for joy if more of their congregation participated in this time of

worship. Why is the offering time such a sore spot for many people? Why are

churches lacking in the area of finances, and what can leaders do to overcome

obstacles so that giving churches can be developed?

A church must have the correct perception of the giving process. It is the responsibility

of the leadership to take away obstacles and misconceptions about the giving process.

When we provide the correct insight, we can expect our churches to grow and develop into

a giving church. Let’s examine some practical things that the church can provide to develop

giving churches.

14 WWM J U LY 2 0 0 9


Provide Biblical Teaching

Many churches and individuals are

suffering from a lack of knowledge. God

wants the opportunity to supernaturally

bless and favor us, and He is looking for

us to do our part. When leaders teach to

give biblically, we will see the sowing

and reaping principle in action.

Galatians 6:7 states that God will

not be mocked. We will reap

what we sow. It is amazing

how many folks expect to

reap where they haven’t

sown. They are

waiting for God

to make the

first move

when He

already has.

He has promised

seedtime and harvest.

Genesis 8:22 states that as long as

time exists, the principle of seedtime

and harvest will exist! When our people

develop a sowing mentality, the reaping

is just a “season” away. We do not hurt

God’s feelings, nor is it more “spiritual”

to sow without expecting God to do His

part. In a way, this is mocking God. It is

belittling His commitment to His Word

and His promises.

When we sow, we will reap. People

need to be continually reminded of this

so that this harvest can be unselfishly

used to enlarge His Kingdom. God will

be true to His Word, and, many times,

blessing you is just a by-product of that.

This perception should allow us to

give cheerfully. In 2 Corinthians 9:6–8,

it says that we are to give cheerfully. It

says that if we sow bountifully, we will

reap bountifully.

Many of us were taught from an early

age to look forward to the offering

time. Whether by parents, pastors, or

teachers, we learned this was an act

of worship. We must remember that

even though this is true, there could be

a new crop of Christians and potential

givers who must learn this. Even though

it seems repetitious, we must constantly

teach and train disciples in the area

of giving. Otherwise, they will have a

misconception about giving, and they

will give grudgingly or out of necessity.

God does not need our seed;

however, we need to give so that He

can make all grace abound toward

us as this scripture indicates. Simply

put, God desires to bless us. In fact,

when someone gets ready to join a

congregation, this is a great time to

instruct them on the blessing and

responsibility of giving. Learning in a

membership class would prepare them

to give cheerfully and not grudgingly or

out of necessity.

We should also understand the benefit

of giving sacrificially. When a farmer

wants a good harvest, he will plant his

best seed. He makes a commitment to

his harvest by taking the best of his crop

and reserving it to plant the next season.

If he were to eat the best seed and plant

inferior seed, he would enjoy a great

meal this season, but his future dining

experience would suffer.

This is the idea behind sacrificial

giving. If we are to develop giving

churches, we must learn to give our best

seed to God. Unless you experience

sacrifice, you have not given your best

seed. Sometimes, it is not what you

give; it is what you have left that will

determine the value of your seed.

If anyone can be trusted with this

sacrificial seed, it is the Lord. In fact,

one of our older saints sings the praises

of the character of God. He says, “God

is an honest God. . . . If you give Him

too much, He will give you some

back” (Tom Evatt). Try doing that with

a cashier at the supermarket. Doesn’t

God deserve first choice at our seed?

Hasn’t He proven His dependability

during the years?

Realizing that God is the ultimate

money manager, this should encourage

us to give liberally. Luke 6:38 gives the

promise that if we give, it will be given

back to us, pressed down, shaken

together, and running over.

Now, I know that many of us are too

“spiritual” to admit that we like it when

God blesses us. This passage in Luke

alludes to the mantles the Jews wore into

which a large quantity of grain might be

received. The cloak was tied off at the

waist, and this could be used as a storage

device. Can you picture the scene as a

good measure or a full and generous

measure of grain was poured in the cloak

to the point that it was running over?

Proper giving causes some shaking

to occur. It is like the disclaimer on

the cereal box that says that contents

may settle in shipment. When we give

properly, it is shaken together, filling all

corners, filling every void. Praise God!

There is no lack. He will take care of us

to the point that it will be running over,

overflowing the capacity of the vessel.

And this not only comes from God, but

He will use others because the Scripture

plainly states, “. . . men [will] give

unto your bosom . . .” (Luke 6:38). Your

mantle will run over. For that reason, we

need to teach people to enlarge their

measure and their mantle.

What measure are you using?

Jeff White

Easley, South Carolina

Pastor White serves with his wife,

Sherri, as Senior Pastors at College

Park Worship Center in Greenville,

South Carolina. He is a graduate of

Tomlinson College and Clemson

University, but, above all, he credits

much that he has learned to his

mentors and partners in ministry

during the years. Their passion is to

see leaders and laity develop into

whom God has called them to be in

the areas of financial stewardship,

leadership development, and worship.

(Look for Part 2 in next month’s issue.)

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