The how and the why of giving

Steve Kryger

I've been researching how churches provide options on their website for their members to financially give. Many churches (particularly in the U.S.) provide this option.

I've been surprised by how little information is provided on some sites about the 'why' of giving. A lot of detail is provided about how to give, but not necessarily about why Christians give (example: Highpoint Church).

I think it's important to provide information on these pages about the 'why' of giving. Not only is this important for members, it's also important I think to explain to newcomers why giving is part of the Christian life.

Here's three examples.

1. Emmaus Church has this explanation:

"As followers of Jesus we don’t give financially in an effort to win God’s approval, favor, or love. That has already been lavished upon us freely through the life, death and resurrection of our Great God & Savior Jesus Christ (See Romans 5:8 and 1 John 4:10). Rather, we give as a response to the gospel. We give as an act of worship. We give because God first gave (See John 3:16)! Simply put, giving financially toward the forward progress of the gospel of Jesus is an act of worship. At EMMAUS Church at least 10% of every offering received is devoted to outside church planting. Thank you for giving to support the gospel-work of EMMAUS Church here in Northern Atlanta and beyond."

2. This explanation on the Central Baptist Church website:

"The Lord commands that we give. With it comes the opportunity to proclaim to our neighbors and community His sufficiency and provision. Giving invigorates our devotion to Christ. Giving frees us from the tyranny of consumerism. Giving provides an outlet for compassion. Giving provides us an opportunity to teach our families that money is a servant rather than our master. So, our prayer is that as people of faith we would live faithfully."

3. I also like this explanation on the Mars Hill Church website:

"Giving cheerfully and sacrificially of our finances is part of our worship. A believer labors not to accrue personal wealth or possessions, but to steward God's resources well and model Jesus to our brothers, sisters, and community. If you're a Christian outside our region who uses the website regularly and you feel compelled to give above and beyond the primary giving to your local Christian congregation and mission, we appreciate your support. Our work is an effort to serve our Father in all things, and one of the primary ways we serve God is by cheerfully giving God our “firstfruits” (2 Corinthians 9:7; Proverbs 3:9). We call our members to give, not by meeting some obligatory percentage, but gladly sacrificing for the sake of the gospel because Jesus sacrificed for us, and all we have is His. We thank those who have helped us meet these needs and pray Mars Hill Church would join in faithful, consistent, godly giving as Scripture instructs."

Have you seen any other examples of church websites that explain both the what and the why? I'd also be interested to know what options your church provides to give online.