Why "we give as a church."
WHY “WE GIVE AS A CHURCH”
During our response time on Sunday morning, you have heard us say the phrase, “we don’t give to a church; we give as a church.” This phrase is a quick way to summarize our convictions on (1) the posture of giving and (2) our relationship to the church. We recognize that we are the church and, as a community, we give to God as a church. These funds are collected for ministry initiatives both internally and externally.
In her book The Worshipping Life, Lisa Nochols Hickman says, “We do not give to the church; we give as a church. We give as a body of people, who discern the needs of our community and world, and give in the name of Jesus Christ. Of course some of that money supports a building and a staff, but both are necessary in proclaiming the gospel. Our giving to the church should not be out of guilt or shame, but in response to our own internalization of the gospel and its demand on our lives (Pg. 96).”
We are the church.
If our posture of giving is that we give to the church, then we are thinking of the church as an institution - separate from ourselves as individuals - that we are financially propping up. That’s the same relationship we have with a country club or gym. We might pay our “dues” to these institutions because they provide a service or product. When we give as a church, we are assuming that everyone who calls CGNE their home is a part of the community and we are contributors to the mission, vision, and goals.
Also, when we give as a church, we recognize that we are giving to God and not just to an organization. This means we are accountable to God, as His disciples, to participate, according to our convictions, in the collaborative efforts of Common Ground Northeast.
When we give as a church, we understand that there are ministry initiatives we can do together that we cannot do as individuals. So, when we gather that money together, it is still YOUR money funneled through the community of Common Ground Northeast under the guidance of our leadership (in particular our OPS team)! These leaders serve the congregation with the collected finances in three ways: paying for some to work vocationally in the body, by providing communal space for gathering/mission, and by giving to those in need outside of our own body. To be more specific, our finances pay for practical financial components like salaries, our mortgage, and our utilities but it also goes toward missional endeavors that help those outside of the community. When we give as the church, we are giving to these efforts collectively creating synergy and a sense of unity around a common goal.
At Common Ground Northeast, we want to give “as a church” It is our desire that we would give sacrificially, cheerfully, and intentionally as the church to which you belong and, as a church body, to the things we intend to support communally!