2nd July 2015
But since you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you - see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
2 Corinthians 8:7
Are you a saver or a spender? Do you prefer to give presents or to receive them? Would you call yourself generous?
I consider myself fortunate to have been brought up in a household which was open about money. Having grown up in the war era, my parents had experienced rationing for many years and therefore understood the value of money. Whilst they were never extravagant, they modelled good stewardship and generosity. And when it came to giving to the church, I was in a family context where giving at least 10% of your income - very often more - was normal.
In 1998, King’s took on its first major building project and we asked the church to double tithe for three years. I still remember how thrilled I was by everyone's faithful response. What most of you will not know is that my parents decided that they would like to stand with us in our faith venture. Amazingly, they also committed to giving 10% of their income to King’s, in addition to what they already gave to their own church. It was yet another example of their love of God, for His church, and for me.
When I became a Christian, what I had seen modelled at home quickly became my own practice. I was keen to follow Jesus with my whole heart and was happy to endeavour to excel in the area of giving. As I said on Sunday, when I left a successful business career at the age of 26 to become a youth pastor, my salary shrank by 80%. The church Treasurer told me this meant they had lost their largest giver out of 300 members. Since they were also now paying me as a staff member this must have made quite a dent in the finances! Taking such a significant drop in earnings was undoubtedly challenging, yet I have always believed that whilst money is necessary, eternal matters are of far greater importance. I was secure in the knowledge that my own personal value was found not in the type of car I drove, or how large my income was, but in Jesus alone, who paid the ultimate price and died for me.
So if you have been around King’s for a while, you will know that we are open about the subject of money and that we challenge everyone to give generously, according to their means. This is the season for our Annual Giving Review and we are asking everyone to TAKE A STEP on our journey towards becoming a more generous, God-honouring community.
Deb and I will once again continue to give beyond 10%. As the father of this church family, I would like to ask you to take a step further, and to give generously to God’s work here. Please take some time to read the Annual Giving Review leaflet carefully and to prayerfully consider what you can do. Then on Sunday July 12th or Sunday July 19th, please come prepared to return your giving review form.
As Jesus said himself, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35b
Posted by Steve Tibbert
Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham and Lee. Over the past fifteen years the church has seen continued growth, both in size and diversity. Steve is also involved in Newfrontiers and regularly coaches other lead elders. His book, Good to Grow, was published in July 2011. He is married to Deb, and they have three sons.