LifeSpring decided several years ago that we would not emphasize tithing because of the huge reputation that churches have as money-focused institutions. That decision continues today.
This decision creates a difficult tension, on one hand a desire to not make money a condition of fellowship at LifeSpring, on the other hand, a great deal of teaching in the Bible about the dangers of money and the importance of generosity. What follows is a brief reflection on the importance of giving at LifeSpring.
We have never been a money-driven community. We have no paid staff nor do we own property. We are simply a group of disciples wanting to follow Jesus as well as provide a community into which people will want to come.
Still, we cannot do what we are doing without the regular help, small and large, of our community members. Our regular, on-going expenses include our weekly rent at the Playhouse, various supplies such as communion materials, child education curricula, stipends for guest speakers, bookkeeping expenses, assistance with projects such as Christmas Child, equipment such as our video projector, sound equipment, and screen, pastoral expenses (not salary), etc. Without these contributions, we could not do what we now do.
There are some basic principles that are important to remember.
1. Regular is better than none. Often people will say to themselves, “I don’t have much to give so I just won’t; it doesn’t matter.” That is actually not true. A regular, dollar-a-week contribution would amount to $52 at the end of the year that could help LifeSpring. It would purchase a full year of communion supplies or help buy supplies for our children’s class. Giving up ONE $5 cup of coffee a week would mean $260 a year could be given to God.
2. Planning shows intentionality and commitment. God should not be an afterthought, and giving is one of the tangible ways that serving Him is a deliberate value.
3. The big value in planned giving is the growth in spiritual maturity. We live in an I-will-not-deny-myself-anything world, and it shows extraordinary commitment when a person says “I will put my wants aside for God.”
If you are not currently doing so, would you consider making LifeSpring a regular line item in your household budget? The amount is not as important as the fact that a regular commitment is made. If everyone made such a commitment, it would make much more possible in terms of our budget.
If you prefer to give my credit card or automatic draft, our Just Give account makes that possible. It is so easy to set that up online and then forget it. Voila.
I hope you will seriously consider what you could regularly give.