Gary Moritz

Revitalizing a church involves cultivating revitalized givers. People give to vision and movements, not to traditions and personal preferences. Although there are many methods of giving, the giving principle never changes. The Old Testament threshold giving is 10% to God as the starting point. However, in the New Testament, you see examples of sacrificial giving and generosity by believers through the local church to accomplish God’s gospel mission in the world.

Is guilting a follower of Jesus Christ to give a method for revitalization? No. Guilting people to give detaches them from the core value of true worship. Revitalized givers understand that giving back to God is a form of worship through obedience and daily sacrifice. They desire to see God’s work done on earth as it is in Heaven. If a heart gets offended at the concept of giving, then the heart needs to be revitalized to worship. A true revitalized follower of Jesus will give without hesitation because they believe incredible things await them in the coming Kingdom.

A biblical way to understand where people are in their worship is through their giving. God blesses a church that walks in obedience. Obedience is God’s love language. If a corporate body of believers is not living in obedience, they cannot expect God to open the windows of heaven to bless them.

Many churches are not experiencing true worship and blessing because of their disobedience in giving. Jesus told us that where our treasure is, our hearts will follow (Matthew 6:21). How can we engage in worship through prayer, song, and service and yet rob God from what is rightfully His? We can’t. This is false worship. That is why it is so important to teach on the importance of giving and living generously.

People attending churches fall into four categories of giving:
  • Giving Nothing – 0% (Ouch!)
  • Giving Something – 1-9% (It’s a start)
  • Giving Obediently – 10% (The Sweet Spot of 10%)
  • Giving Sacrificially – 11% (Above and Beyond the Tithe)

Let’s take a closer look at each of these levels.

Giving Nothing to God
There are people in churches who are giving nothing to God through the church. These people may not be followers of Jesus yet or they are new Christians and giving is a new concept for them. They may not know how to or why they should give.  For this population, careful explanation of how they can immediately start giving to the mission and vision is needed. Make gleaning that first gift from people as easy as possible and encourage the people who are giving nothing to God to start giving something.  

Giving Something to God
Many people in churches are giving something to God. They may be giving regularly; however, they are giving below the threshold of obedient giving (10%).  These people have taken the initial step towards honoring God with their finances, and chances are they have a beginning faith. They are familiar with the practicality of giving and they desire to be a part of the mission and vision of the church.  The goal with those giving something is to challenge them to go to the next level of giving obediently.

Giving Obediently to God
This is the sweet spot of giving to God. This is the level when people cross the threshold in their trust and walk with Christ. People who are giving at this level have reached a deeper level of spiritual maturity and leadership, and they can speak and lead based on their obedience. They are giving to the local church to reach their community and the world with the Gospel. They understand the blessings of God, and they love the local church and desire its vitality.

Let’s dive into obedient giving using someone making minimum wage. Assuming a person works 40 hours a week making an hourly wage of $13.50/hour.  This calculates to $28,080 per year in wages. We know that Scripture teaches that God gets the first 10% or the first fruits, the first and the best. Obedient giving equals $2,808 for the year to the local church. God gets paid first. This giving is done with a heart of worship, obedience, honor, and thankfulness, not out of obligation or what I like to call the “grudge grip”. Many people who are giving obediently can go above and beyond obedient giving. They have the potential to become sacrificial givers.

Giving Sacrificially to God
Many people in churches desire to live sacrificially and generously and they go above and beyond obedient giving. They desire to fund missions, projects, and the mission and vision in a greater way to see true revitalization. I like to call these givers “Kingdom Thinkers”, they understand the principle of laying up treasures in Heaven, and they desire to see Kingdom impact on earth. People giving at this level also desire to bring life and vitality around the world. They are contributors not consumers and are faithful followers of Christ. They are making the local church an environment that people love to attend, and the Gospel impact is going all over the world because of them.

True worship revitalizes a church. When God sees people in a church worshiping Him with a pure heart, His presence will fall upon the church, and He will pour out His blessings on it. When the presence of God is on a Church, the community will know. Pastors need to challenge their people to examine their worship and obedience in giving.  A revitalized Church wants God to work through their local church and their community, and if the people in the church are not giving to the work, the work will be hindered. A revitalized church will be on the give and not on the take. Giving brings vitality to the work of God.

One way to cultivate generous church attenders is to start talking about the four different levels of giving. Challenge your people to examine where they fit into the levels, and then challenge them to work towards progressing up the levels.  Require certain levels of leaders and volunteers to be at the level of obedient giving. A person cannot lead others towards obedience and spiritual maturity if they are not living and giving obediently. Remember, you are never more like God than when you give.

Revitalizing your church is dependent on cultivating revitalized givers. People give to who and what they worship. Your job is to educate and train your people to see true revitalization in this essential area of worship.

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