The Bible tells us that sacrificial giving for gospel work is a mark of spiritual maturity and therefore every Christian should aim to be giving regularly for the work of God in their church ministries. The basis of this of course is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who gave His life for us; as his followers our lives and all we have belong to Him.
One way that we can participate in what God is doing is by giving regularly, generously, and joyfully. Our attitude about giving reflects what we believe about God and his work through the church.
How much we give will inevitably vary. The Old Testament required God’s people to give 10% of their gross income or profits of trade (known as tithe).
The New Testament doesn’t impose any law upon us, but simply expects that we will give sacrificially (i.e. foregoing certain pleasures), generously and gratefully in response to Christ’s sacrifice for us so that the work of God will go on in our communities. In response to the teachers of the Law’s question as to whether one should pay taxes to Caesar, Jesus responded by saying, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s. The amount of our regular giving is therefore a matter of conscience, but it seems appropriate to start at the Old Testament level and increase as income and maturity allow.
Most churches around the world (however poor) would expect something like that level of commitment. This will not be possible for everyone, but a key principle is to begin somewhere, even if it is at a few pounds a month as a student. In our church we say, ‘start small until you grow into it’. Every Christian should be involved.
At South Street Baptist church the size of monthly gifts varies greatly depending on the circumstances of each person, but we are immensely grateful to God for each person who gives and each gift given.