Generosity and Giving to Your Church

Christians differ on how much we ought to give and to whom. The Bible offers a lot of formulas—none of them are hard and fast. But generosity is undeniably a central part of following Jesus. And giving to your church is an important part of belonging there. So, at Mosaic, we generally encourage people to be prayerful, generous, and wise.

With that in mind, here are some of the principles and values that shape the way we approach donations at Mosaic:

Wealth is inherently spiritual.

The Bible talks a lot about wealth: it’s a blessing and a trap; we must steward it and avoid becoming its slaves; it easily becomes a powerful idol for both the rich and the poor. Serving God and serving “Mammon” both can lead to success and wealth or to failure and poverty. But only one of them leads to treasure in heaven. It’s when you’re pursuing Christ that failure, poverty, and death can become eternal success, wealth, and life. (I posted a few comments on this earlier this summer.)

Generosity, in general, is essential.

Jesus called on everyone to be generous. But he didn’t give a formula for how much. Basically, he said, “give a lot; do it for the sake of God’s purposes and your neighbor; give even to the point of becoming poor; trust God to provide for you, not your wealth.”

Giving to your church, specifically, is important.

Jesus did not tell his followers to give to the church—it did not yet exist. But tithing and gifts to support the Temple and local synagogues were a standard part of Jewish worship that Jesus generally affirmed. The early Christians shared their wealth in common so that no one would be in need. And supporting a local church helps it to fulfill its part in the global Church’s mission.

Your giving is between you and God.

It’s not to be used—by you or by church leaders—as a public measure of piety.

That’s why we only track individual giving for tax reporting.

The pastor and elders don’t have access to individual or family giving records. We find that knowing that information generally creates more problems than it solves.

And we “invite” guests not to give.

Whatever we can offer our visitors, we give it free of charge and free of any unspoken obligation to pay us back. Part of belonging at Mosaic is contributing to that kind of hospitality.