2 Eppleston Place, West Pymble
This brief pamphlet is for all regular attendees or members of NorthLight and is intended to help you think through both the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of financially supporting our church. Though members of our church also ‘give’ through prayer, time and acts of service and love – this will not take up these important ministries, but concentrate on our financial obligations.
Its purpose is to remind us about the reasons, needs and opportunities for giving toward the work of making Jesus known to our near neighbours and around the world, together with some information about the practicalities of how we do that in our church.
The Bible talks a lot about money and giving, and about the reasons and motives for giving. Surprisingly, your soul and your finances are linked!
Here are a few reasons for giving …
When Paul is urging Christians in Corinth to give ‘gener- ously’ to an appeal for the poor in Judea, he reminds them of how much they themselves have received from God. He writes:
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor 8:9)
Everything we have we owe to grace, and grace teaches generosity.
In writing a thank you letter to the Philippians, Paul thanks them for “sharing” in his ministry and the way in which they supported him financially. He calls this ‘Partnership in the gospel’ (Phil 4:15, 1:5). It is a stunning thought to think that the church were legitimate partners with the apostle to the Gentiles!
At St Matts we have committed ourselves in ministry to partnering with various local, regional, national and international ministries. Being partners in making Jesus known includes a serious financial commitment. As we train and send more ministers and missionaries, and as the ministries we conduct here continue to grow, (as we hope they will), we can expect each year’s budget to be a new challenge to our financial generosity and faithfulness.
When we give sacrificially we are putting into practice our confidence that God will provide for our needs and for our eternal joy and happiness, far more reliably and lavishly than money ever could. Paul writes to Timothy:
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly pro- vides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Tim 6:17)
“I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. … Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26).
Paul writes to the Corinthian church and motivates the church to support their ministers saying that it is a right and proper requirement to materially provide for minis- ters who serve the church spiritually:
“If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?”
(1 Cor 9:11)
Another reason for giving that Christians sometimes offer is the Old Testament law of the ‘tithe’, under which Israelites were commanded to give 10% of their flocks and harvests and money to God. Some Christians follow a similar practice, giving 10% of their income away. This practice has good and bad aspects!
* The bad side is that it can make giving a matter of law, when the New Testament never lays down a tithe law as a command for Christians to follow
* The good side is that giving 10% consistently and faith- fully can still be a decision made in freedom and gener- osity by Christians whose giving is grace motivated, not law motivated. Of course, many of us will be able to give a lot more than 10% away – there is no rule that limits generosity to 10%!
The ultimate reason for giving is not law but love. We give because we have experienced God’s love, because we love him, and because we love each other. Love for others will include a concern for their material and gospel needs. Therefore, our love will have impact in the practicalities of our finances.
So Paul reminds the Corinthian Christians, what we do with our money is an expression of the sincerity of our love for Jesus and for others:
“But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of other.” (2 Cor 8:78).
The New Testament offers at least five basic principles for how to give.
Not grudgingly, out of mere obligation but gladly.
Not just sporadically and on a whim, but as part of a life that is structured around generosity.
“We want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. … And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.” (2 Cor 8:1-5)
Not out of our financial leftovers, but beyond budgetary ability.
Not giving for show but giving for God.
Not giving naively, but being concerned that money is handled and accounted for with integrity, in a way that gives glory to God.
You should be aware that North Light Anglican Church is not financially supported by the Anglican Diocese of Sydney. Rather we must be financially independent. We must pay our own bills and fund our own ministries and vision. Therefore 100% of our expenses need to be funded by church members.
Staff salaries comprise about 75% of the church’s budget. The remainder is spent on maintenance, bills and resourcing our various ministries.
How can we put those principles above into practice in our own giving at NorthLight?
The preferred method of giving to the Church is via regular direct giving. If you would like to set this up yourself, you can arrange for direct bank transfer at a branch or over the internet. The church account details are printed each week in the bulletin and are included here:
North Light Anglican Church:
Acc No: 810320
We can also arrange for gifts to come either from your credit card or bank account through a system which is maintained by the Finance warden. This involves completion of a form available from the church office or from the Finance warden directly.
Setting up gifts to be made periodically has a number of advantages; it is considered, consistent, unseen (except to the Finance warden and Treasurer who keeps the information private) and allows the Parish Council to budget with some confidence.
Alternatively, you may choose to give via cash directly into offertory bags that are circulated during the service.
As a church we have committed to supporting a number of ministries outside of NorthLight. Each year we aim to give more to these ministries (details in the church bulletin or from the Finance warden) at a rate greater than the growth of our own budget. That is we are trying to be increasingly generous ahead of our own needs. Nevertheless you are encouraged to add extra and direct support of our mission partners through their host organisations.
Whilst this pamphlet is hoping to encourage you to give generously and consistently to NorthLight, we would also like to urge members to give generously to the poor and needy both as a regular part of their giving and in response to various (crisis) appeals that arise from time to time.
Phone02 9498 0000
St Matthew's Anglican Church2 Eppleston Place, West Pymble
All Saints’ Air Force Memorial Church11 Moore Ave, Lindfield
02 9498 0000