What is Stewardship?
As Christians, we celebrate the fact that our God is a kind, caring, and generous God. He’s given to all of us the gifts of life, love, and a relationship with Him. But in addition to these gifts, God also blesses us with financial, physical, and spiritual gifts. As disciples of Christ, we demonstrate our faith through the way that we use these gifts to glorify God and bless others. That’s what stewardship is all about – using what God has given us for a glory greater than our own.
How Does Stewardship Affect My Money?
As Christians, we don’t really own the gifts that God has given us. If anything, we manage them. We look after these precious gifts, we care for them, and we use them for what they were intended to be used for. That principle applies to how we view our role as stewards of creation, life, and even money. In short, you’re managing God’s resources, not your own. As such, God expects you to use the financial resources that He’s blessed you with (regardless of how much or little that may be) for His glory, not your own.
Why Should I Give?
In Matthew 6:2, Jesus said to His disciples, “when you give,” not, “if you give.” Because of that subtle distinction, your giving isn’t optional – it’s essential. Being a Christian means contributing a portion of your financial resources towards the mission and ministries of the church. All throughout the Bible, such contributions are seen as a normal, healthy, and expected expression of our faith and commitment to Christ and His church.
How Much Should I Give?
In the Old Testament, it was a common practice for God’s people to tithe, which is to say they gave a tenth of all they received back to the Lord (money, crops, etc.). While the New Testament doesn’t speak for or against the practice of tithing, the majority of Christians have embraced this principle. At Forest Hills, we encourage each individual to tithe towards the mission and ministries of our church. While we may encourage each person towards this goal, the amount you decide to give is ultimately a matter between you and God. As you prayerfully consider how much God wants you to give towards the church, meditate upon these words from 2 Corinthians 9:6-7…
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work.”
What’s the Difference Between Tithes and Offerings?
A tithe is 10% of your income. An offering is anything given beyond your tithe. Such offerings could take the form of giving money to your church that goes beyond your normal tithe, giving money to a charity you support, giving money to a friend or neighbor in need, etc.
What If I Can’t Tithe Right Now?
As we’ve already mentioned, the matter of your giving is between you and God alone, and He always takes into account your circumstances. If you’d like to be at a place where you can tithe, but can’t right now, we want to help. From time to time, we’ll be offering Financial Peace University here at Forest Hills. This course is designed to help you build a stronger financial foundation for yourself and your family so that you can save, spend, and give without worry. If you’d like to enroll in this class, but can’t cover the registration costs, we’ll cover them for you.
What are the Benefits of Giving?
When we give our tithes and offerings in the right spirit for the right reasons, God uses our obedience and faithfulness to Him to bless us in all sorts of ways. Tithing teaches us how to keep God first in our lives and how to live unselfishly. Unselfish people make better spouses, friends, relatives, employees, and employers. And they usually have better finances.
In addition, by offering up a portion of our financial resources to God, God in turn blesses our other resources in ways we could never begin to imagine. Listen to what Billy Graham says about the benefits of tithing: “We have found in our own home, as have thousands of others, that God’s blessing upon the nine-tenths, when we tithe, helps it go farther than the ten-tenths without His blessing.”
It’s impossible for us to say how God’s going to bless you for being obedient and faithful to Him with your finances. But trust us when we say that somehow, someway, you will be blessed!
What Does My Giving Support at Forest Hills?
Forest Hills is grateful for the tithes and offerings that are received in worship each week as well as through our online giving. The financial support offered by our members and guests helps us to seek, serve, and share Christ’s love in Raleigh and around the world. On any given week, your financial gifts are used to impact women, men, and children of all ages, races, and backgrounds with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.