A couple of days ago, my wife, Jill, and I were making plans to have some folks over for dinner. Jill got silent after a while and then asked, “Do you suppose God will let us go broke as we are blessing people?”
What a great question to ponder! I think the answer lies somewhere in the motivation of the heart–specifically, why we give and who we believe provided what we have.
I find it curious that Jesus deliberately sat down across from the offering box in the temple to watch people give. Jesus’ measurement of a healthy giver was not in the amount given, but in the outward risk and inward trust of the giver.
You see, those who were rich gave large sums of money. But the poor widow, who had no one to support her, gave a couple of pennies. Jesus claimed her gift outweighed the contribution of the rich. As she gave all that she had, she was placing her faith and trust in God to provide for her in ways she could not imagine. Her risky gift of faith brought more joy to Jesus than all of the large gifts of the rich combined because the rich had already determined that what they gave was not needed to sustain their cost of living. They gave what they could afford to lose.
At its core, our giving to God is not about supporting the programs and ministry of Richwoods as much as it is an ongoing test of the motivation of our hearts and our trust in God.
In answer to Jill’s question, the hard truth is, “Yes.” We could very well go broke sharing what God has provided for us, but I’d rather bring a smile to God’s face because my gifts come from a place of trust and love for others than out of a place of reserve and comfort.
On average Richwoods needs to receive $39.1K in gifts to meet its 2016 operating expenses, 10% of which goes immediately to Missions and helping people in our community who are experiencing financial troubles.
2016 Cash Balance
As a policy we must have at least 2 weeks of average weekly income in our cash balance at all times, currently that figure is $75K. Combined with the cost of replacing the roof at $140K the total we would need to have in our cash balance by the end of October would be $215K. The cash balance is as of the Friday prior to the date of this posting. Figures in the graph are in thousands ($K).
Our budgets are set on a calendar year, submitted by staff and approved by the Elders of Richwoods. Our ability to meet the needs of the people, provide programs, offer ministry opportunities, and so on, are all contingent on the faithful and generous giving of the people who call Richwoods their church home. As a church we do not take annual pledges to set a budget but we work off of our historical giving and attendance patterns to project a conservative budget.
If you have questions about the information shared in this fyi, you can contact our Executive Pastor, Joel Dryden by email. You can also leave a comment below.