Christmas Charity: Making Your Gift Count

When you decide to step out of financial stress and get on the ladder toward financial peace, make sure you give your initial gift in a way that is identifiable and by which you can be held accountable. That means, first of all, that when you give your gift to your local church, do it through whatever offering system the church has in place. If your church provides offering envelopes, make sure you give using an offering envelope. Or maybe you can give in a way that lets the church leaders know you gave.

People sometimes question this by bringing up Jesus’s words in Matthew 6: “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven…Give your gift in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you” (vv. 1, 4).

Too many people think this passage means they should give without any kind of acknowledgement. But that’s an incorrect interpretation. In reality, it means you shouldn’t brag about the fact that you gave or disclose the dollar amount of your gift to your friends and relatives. In no way does it mean your church leaders shouldn’t know.

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Scripture goes on to tell us that those who have been appointed leaders within the church should know that people are giving back to God. In fact, Mark recounts the story of Jesus sitting by the collection box in the temple, watching as people brought their gifts (Mark 12:41). In the book of Acts, givers actually brought their gifts to the church and laid them at the pastor’s feet (Acts 4:34-45 NIV). Aren’t you glad we don’t have to do that today?

Even though we have moved away from ancient methods of giving to more modern options like envelopes, online giving, and bank auto-debit, the principle remains the same. You must give your gift in a way that is identifiable to your church leaders. Why? So that they will be able to hold you accountable for your giving–not so they can lord it over you but so they can report back to you on what you’ve given and how it is being used.

[bctt tweet=”You must give your gift in a way that is identifiable to your church leaders.” username=”nelsonsearcy”]

–Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson

The above excerpt is from pgs. 49-51 of The Generosity Ladder: Your Next Step to Financial Peace.

Help your people find financial peace with my best-selling book, The Generosity Ladder. Imagine a life in which you don’t struggle to make ends meet each month–a life with no debt, a healthy savings account, and solid plans for retirement. Imagine being able to help people in need and give to causes much bigger than your own concerns. This is how God wants everyone to live. And it is attainable. With the help of this practical and insightful book, your people will uncover their true level of financial health and discover a step-by-step plan to save, spend, and invest money in a responsible, godly way. Click here for more information on ordering in bulk for your church.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyLeadership, Stewardship