It might be easy to write off our reluctance to talk about money by playing the “in Britain we don’t talk about money” card. There is also a very natural concern not to be seen to be exploiting or pressing people to give to gospel work. But the Bible shows no such reticence, rather the Bible encourages Christians to use their money as a tangible expression of our love for God and one another; a very practical means of furthering the gospel and blessing the lives of other people.
As one of the Elders at The Globe Church, I have been responsible for overseeing our finances. Last week our accountants completed our annual accounts and they are wonderfully encouraging because they show that we just about broke even in that financial year; around £230,000 in income and expenditure. Yes, that is a lot of money! Over half of that income came from the church members and congregation, the rest from churches, individuals and trusts.
The implications of this is that as of June 2018 last year we were over 60% self-supporting as a church and that is a wonderful expression of the heart of The Globe Church congregation. We’re still a long way to go though; we have set ourselves the aim of being 100% self-supporting by the time we are five years old!
Church planting in Central-London is expensive. An example of this is that it costs us £900 every time we hire the lecture theatre in New Hunt’s House on Guy’s Campus for our Sunday service – and that’s with a discount! Most people who give to the church do so through the BACS banking system, which we strongly encourage. If you are a taxpayer then the church can reclaim their tax, worth another 25% on every pound given! To give an indication of the value of that for the church; last year Gift Aid amounted to over £31,000 of our income.
If you are able to start regular monthly giving, this is one of the most helpful ways in which you can financially support our church family and enable us to become a self-sustaining church in the next two years, please prayerfully consider setting up a Standing Order and completing a Gift Aid form. But of course some aren’t in a place to do that. Others, who are, also want to give something extra each month as an expression of their love for the Lord. That’s where our ‘first Sunday of the month’ offering comes in.
Next Sunday is the first Sunday of the month and it provides an opportunity for us to express gospel hearted generosity in giving to the work of The Globe Church. Can I encourage you to come intentionally prepared to give? And not only next Sunday but every first Sunday!
There is something wonderful about tangibly and consciously bringing a gift to the Lord as a church family. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:7 “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”. Why does the Lord love a cheerful giver? Not because he needs our money but because it is what He is like, He is the Giver! So when we give cheerfully we show that we are His children, we reflect the Father’s character and likeness.