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    How We Do Things (Part 2): GIVING

    Here’s Part 2 of this little mini-blog series on how we do things at Awaken. If you missed Part 1 on Bible teaching, check it here.
    Here’s today’s – a touchy topic for many, but not for God!

    Giving.

    Did you know that the church of Satan uses tithing in the Christian church to draw people to Satanism? Yeah. Sounds crazy right? Well, to get involved as a member of the church of Satan (not that any of you are considering this…hopefully), there’s a $200 membership fee. Sound steep? They’ll tell you it’s cheap compared to Christianity, which requires 10% of each paycheck! The problem is, they have it all backward. To them, it’s money that’s due – it’s an obligation. For Christians, giving to the work of the ministry is an opportunity, a joyful form of worship. At least, it should be.

    If you attend a service at Awaken, one thing you’ll notice is that we won’t pass an offering plate. In fact, we don’t own offering plates. The only plates we own are paper ones that we use for putting a burger on at a BBQ! Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with an offering plate…or bag…or bucket, I just don’t prefer it. I grew up in churches that passed the offering plate and took up a formal offering each service. My dad was often an usher – one of the dudes that got up during worship and passed the plates around. It’s a very valid way of collecting the cash, we just don’t do it.

    Instead, we provide 2 ways to give at Awaken:
    1) in the wonderful brown wooden boxes (thanks, Hobby Lobby) located in the church building for people to drop cash, checks, money orders, coins, $1000 bills…or whatever you choose to give, and
    2) online giving (available for one-time or recurring gifts). It’s really simple.

    You see, giving financially to the ministry was never designed to be a burden, like the church of Satan makes it out to be. In fact, God’s Word gives the opposite idea in 2 Corinthians 9:7. It says
    So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
    In other words, God loves when we love to give! In fact, it’s an extension of worship. Worship through song, worship through studying the Bible, and worship with your wallet!
    Biblically, we are told to give cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7), generously (Romans 12:8), and in proportion to what we have been given (Mark 12:41-44). After all, when you think about the fact that all that you have has been given to you by the Lord, giving a portion of it back just makes sense – it’s not yours in the first place!
    Many people get caught up with how much you should give and point to the Old Testament principle of tithing, which means 10%. That is a great place to start and a good guideline to go by, but don’t let it hold you down. Remember that God loves when we give cheerfully and is honored when you give back what He has given to you. Ministry is not free – it must be funded somehow. The church relies on God’s provision and sovereignty to take care of its needs and one way that God chooses to provide is through the generous giving of those who are blessed by the church’s ministry.

    So, next time you’re at Awaken (or whatever church you end up at next), whether there’s an offering plate going around or not, remember that God loves when you love to give. Have a good time doing it and support the work of God in the local church.

    While we’re on the topic, if you feel like showing Awaken some financial love, go here.




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