What, then, are some practical steps for church members? How do we proceed down the obedient path of giving?
The first obvious step is to make it a matter of prayer. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each person should do as he has decided in his heart.” Our “heart” is our relationship with God. Giving is a powerful but personal expression of how God has led us; that is how we decide in our heart.
Second, understand that the God we serve is not a God of limited resources. He is the God who created and can still create unlimited resources. Paul makes it clear that as we sow generously, we will reap generously. He does not say how God will do that, but he makes it clear that God has no limitations.
Often we approach stewardship from our limited perspective of resources. We therefore conclude that we can only give what we see. While we are certainly not to take unwise or foolish steps, most of us limit our giving by what we think is possible, not what God would have us give.
Finally, just do it. Just give. Give beyond your own comfort zone. Give as if God is really in charge of all we own and have.
And give without hesitation. Don’t give begrudgingly. There is no person to whom you give who is perfect. There is no organization to which you give that is perfect. There is no church to which you give is perfect. Give without reservation. God will take care of the rest.
Your obedience to God is directly related to your giving.
Your faithfulness as a church member is a function of your giving.
And your joy as a believer in Christ is closely tied to your giving.
Be willing. Be cheerful.
And as you are considering the matter of stewardship in how and what you give to your church, be willing to make this statement without hesitation and with great joy.
I will give.
Thom S. Rainer, I Will: Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian (Nashville: B&H, 2015).
I have just completed a series of lessons based on Thom Rainer’s book, I Will. They are available as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year. Lessons correspond with three of Lifeway’s outlines as well as the International Standard Series.