Editor's Note: Though it shouldn't be this way, churches are not exempt from the financial crisis in America. Across the nation churches and ministries are struggling to make their year-end budgets. With a new generation taking the helm at leading the church of the future, there are some serious concerns. The next generation of young adults have been conditioned to give when they get something out of the giving: buying starbucks helps support independent coffee growers, buying Tom's shoes gives a pair to a third world country, etc. Many of these same young adults are looking at the church and asking, "What product am I getting from you?" To address this question I had my friend Trevor Marsteller address why we should give to our local churches. Trevor is a gifted theologian as well as a young adult. I hope you're refreshed to hear the truths of Scripture worked out by a leader in the church of tomorrow. You can follow Trevor on Twitter here Or read his Blog at Arguing With Angels
If you’re a young adult, you may find yourself asking the question, “Why should I give to my church?” You may have answered that question (or heard it answered) in several different ways: I don’t need to give that much. I need the little money I have. I can’t afford to give. I don’t have to give to my church since I give elsewhere. I’ll give later when I have more money.
Notwithstanding the evasive answers that are like dribble from the mouths of young adults like you and I, there are some very good reasons why you should give to your church.
Giving follows receiving
You should give because God gives to you so that you would generously give to others. Paul testifies in 2 Cor. 9:11 that “you will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way.” Have you received anything? Then you should give generously. God doesn’t want you to hoard anything. He structured his provision to not only be received, but also spread.
Giving meets needs
Local churches don’t have money trees growing in the prayer garden; they need financial support. It is appropriate to fund those who tirelessly minister the gospel to our souls (1 Cor. 9:9-14). It’s heartbreaking to see a church struggle when its people don’t provide financial support. Those who labor full time in the ministry will almost always need the financial support of those who aren’t in full time ministry, i.e. the vast majority of the church – you and I.
Giving glorifies God
Think through this exchange of hands: God gives, you receive, you give, another receives, and then what does the recipient do? What is your natural reaction when someone gives you something you need? You thank them. When we give what God has given us, we are putting a match to the fuel of praise that will burn up in thanksgivings that glorify God (2 Cor. 9:12).
Giving benefits us
God has wonderfully orchestrated giving to benefit the recipient and the giver. The extremely poor people in Macedonia begged to take part in an offering to meet the needs of other Christians. They saw giving as something that benefitted them. When we give, we become like the character personified in Ps. 112:9 – “He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever” (emphasis mine). There is a soul-strengthening, vivifying, gladdening stream that is reserved for givers.
Giving imitates Jesus
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9). Jesus gave more than we can imagine so that we would become rich beyond our wildest dreams. If Jesus gave and we call ourselves his people, his Church, we should imitate our Lord and become loving, living examples of our heavenly Benefactor.
I’ve heard it said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Lk. 12:34). So follow your treasure map to that X placed over your heart, cut open that steeled vault, and find a new home for your treasure.
By Trevor Marsteller