A CULTURE OF GENEROSITY
Our church community believes living in the way of Jesus is inclusive of every area of our lives. We are taught a model of radical generosity through the Bible that extends into the area of finance. It is our belief that all we have comes from God and it is our privilege to honor him through this practice.
WHY WE GIVE
The Bible teaches us to wisely steward all we have been given. This means we are held accountable for what we have. Paul instructed the early church in Corinth to grow in generosity toward God and others. We believe this instruction was not only for the early church but for all of us today. The result of financial generosity does a number of things in and through us such as: blessing others, fighting materialism, the re-orienting of our hearts, building our faith, and embracing contentment.
WHAT IS TITHING?
We believe radical generosity starts with the tithe. Tithe is a Biblical principle meaning “tenth” that refers to the first 10% of our income giving back. We believe this counter-cultural practice honors God, supports the work of the local church, and meets tangible needs beyond our walls. The Bible teaches that tithing is a reminder that God is the supplier of everything. It teaches us to put God first in every area of our lives.
Tithing is a starting point, not a goal to achieve
Tithing is intended to train people to trust God, to break greed and selfishness off our lives, and build healthy spiritual habits that will release God’s blessing over our lives.
Some would argue that, “Well since we are under grace, why are you trying to impose an Old Testament standard of 10%?” This is a valid question, as long as the person asking it is planning on giving above 10%. Almost always, in our experience, people who hold a position that “we should just give what we feel led to give” never get close to the biblical standard of the tithe, much less the New Testament standards of sacrifice and radical generosity. We're not here to judge your heart or check your giving record, but we need to come clean on this and just be honest with God and ourselves in this reality: If we do not hold to biblical standards and expectations, we will always shoot low! Let’s apply the logic of “we should just do what we feel led to do” across the board in our Christian journey. What if we only came to church when we felt like it? Many do, and the fruit of their lives is less than desirable. What if we only helped the poor, or served, or read the Bible, or submitted to spiritual leadership when we felt like it?
Consider the results this mindset would produce in your marriage or friendships if we only said, “I love you,” when we felt like it. Or said, “I’m sorry,” or helped out around the house or, or, or.... You get it. A productive, blessed life requires standards that we will hold ourselves to. This is not legalism or law, it’s just common sense and much-needed spiritual disciplines.
Here are just a few statistics of what our nation has done in the past few years by just “giving as they felt led”.
- Americans give 1.1 - 1.4% of their yearly income to various causes and charitable organizations. That number has declined by a full percentage point in the last 10 years.
- American Christians give 1.5 - 3.1% to their church and other charitable organizations. That number has dropped more that a percentage point in the past 10 years.
- 4 out of 10 church attendees give nothing to their local church.
- Only 1 out of 10 regular church attendees give a consistent percentage of their income to their local church.
- The national average of people who tithe to their local church is currently 4% of church-attending Christians.
Those are some alarming statistics that should quickly answer the question as to why our nation is in need of real revival. God clearly does not have our hearts! Also in light of those statistics, you have to ask yourself what would happen if God’s people gave according to biblical precedent? How many lives would be changed? Could we expedite world evangelism and eradicate world hunger through the church? Could we care for our cities and be a light that could not be hid? Could we eliminate the poverty in our nation and the nations of the earth? Could we take care of every widow and find a home for every orphan? Could we experience an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that resembled or exceeded the book of Acts? The answer to all those questions is YES-YES-YES-YES and YES!
Some of the text on this page comes from our dear friends at TFH Vacaville.