Giving @ Faith✟Journey

How do you work out the right level of support

for the congregation that you call home?

Jesus talks about money more that he talks about faith and prayer combined...ever wonder why?  Jesus knows that there is a link between our feelings and attitudes about money and the strength and vitality of our faith.


There are basically four ways that we approach giving to our local congregation


the casual giver: this is the person who reaches into their pocket when it comes time to collect an offering and basically tosses in what they find - sometimes it might be as much as $5, sometimes it is some coins, sometimes it might be dryer lint.  In the case that it might be, say a $20 - we figure we will make it up next week and put that Jackson back in  our pocket.

 

the hopeful giver: this is the person that has begun to see the importance (not just for the ministries of the church but for their own lives) of supporting the work of the church.  Unfortunately there is no plan to their giving and so often they forget or they wait to give what's "left over at the end of the month."


It is usually the casual and the hopeful giver that feel that they cannot afford to support the church financially or they think and feel that "God doesn't need my money."


the planned giver: this is the person who has included their support of God's work into their home budget and they commit to making sure that their gifts are made with regularity.


the supporter: this is the person who not only plans to support the church, includes their support in their home budget - but also goes above and beyond that giving with gifts to the church that enable ministry not only to continue but to thrive.


Below - we offer you and plan to help you discern what level of support is right for you and offers ways that you can enact that plan so that your support is regular and consistent.

The Basics of Discernment and Pledging

Step 1: Spend some time in Spiritual Discernment


In the Lutheran church - we are committed to being people of the Bible.  We affirm that the Bible is "the source and norm of our life and proclamation."  As we think about our possessions - specifically our finances - here are a few passages from Scripture that might be helpful to consider:


  • “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-24)
  • “Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work.” (Deuteronomy 15:10)
  • “Bring the whole tithe . . . and see if I will not . . . pour out much blessing.” (Malachi 3:6-12)
  • “The love of money is a root of evil . . . be rich in good deeds, generous, and willing to share.” (1 Timothy 6:6-19)
  • “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:13-21)


Step 2: Consider what others have said


Any time you are considering lending your financial support to a church it is important to know what others are saying about the ministries, the community and the leadership.  Here are a few excerpts from a recent satisfaction survey conducted in May of 2018:

  • “There are many inspiring things happening here. Along with the traditional, there are events, attitudes, and most importantly, actions of the minister and its members that are fresh and contemporary.”
  • “This church shows love and acceptance VERY well.”
  • “I really enjoy the pastor’s method of studying the readings and making them relevant to today’s world. He is empowering and makes me want to take action in my faith, not just experience it once a week at church.”
  • “Faith+Journey welcomes all individuals — this is the first church I’ve felt comfortable going to.”
  • “Each time I have visited Faith+Journey I have left feeling much better than when I entered. The sermon, the atmosphere, and the people are so uplifting. I truly feel God’s presence here.”
  • “the pastors ROCK!"

Step 3: Discerning Your Gift


Ok, this is the toughest part - it shouldn't be - but it is.  So many times we approach this idea from the point of scarcity (if I give to God then I won't have enough for...) instead of abundance (God has already given me all that I need).  Money has a powerful influence on out lives and it is hard to let it go sometimes - OK all the time.   Across the ELCA - the average gift given to the local congregation is $906/year!  That equates to $17.42/week.  This means that there is a lot that the local church would like to do - in the life of its people and in the life of the community - that we simply cannot do - only because we do not have the resource to do it.  Luckily, at Faith✟Journey support per attendee is roughly $2,403/yr.


Take a moment to reflect on the following questions and allow your reflections to guide your thinking:

  1. What have I received from God (possessions, gifts, feelings, relationships, etc.)?
  2. What have I received from my community?
  3. What positive forces have I noticed at work at FJLC through these testimonials and my own experiences?
  4. How do my calendar and checking account speak to my priorities?

Now - consider making a move toward regular and consistent support of God's work at FJLC.  This can be done in a few ways:


1. Pick an amount that you feel is right to offer in support of God's mission at FJLC.  What that amount is depends on you and your personal reflections and prayer.  Here are some examples that some people use:


         $10/Week  (roughly the price of a hamburger at a restaurant per week) over the course of a year = $520


          $20/Week  (roughly the price of one large pizza) over the course of a year = $1040


          $50/week (roughly the price of a night out) over the course of a year = $2600


2.  Consider offering to God's work a portion (percentage) of your income.  A tithe is an Old Testament idea with roots in Jacob’s promise to give God a tenth of all he obtained out of thanks for everything he had been given (Genesis 28:12-22). Christians have adopted the tithe as a spiritual practice that helps develop a thankful heart for all God’s gifts and redirect their dependence on God.


A. Determine You Current Giving Percentage

÷=×100 =

Expected                   Expected                                                                        Percentage of

Total Giving               Total Income                                                                    Income given


                           

B. Consider moving up - one percentage point (or any increase you choose) from your current level.

× 1.__  =

Current                      Percent increase          New Giving Level


Total Giving            (1.02 = 2%, 1.10 = 10%)


C.  Consider figure your giving and then make the commitment to increase you giving (weekly, monthly, whatever you decide) by a set amount.


Imagine the power that a congregation could muster if everyone simply increased their giving by $10/week.  In our case at Faith✟Journey, if every giving unit increased their gift by 10/week - we would have and extra $213, 200 to commit directly to ministry.


Step 4: Communicate Your Commitment    

We strive for your firm commitment to make our goal become a reality. Once you’ve prayerfully considered your gift, please communicate it to us.  This serves one purpose only - when we print out your quarterly giving statement - your commitment amount will appear on that form for your reference and comparison. 


Step 5: Fund  Your  Pledge


Here’s how to fulfill your commitment:

Automatic Electronic Giving

Sign up at our online giving page.   It takes 90 seconds to input your information and set up weekly, monthly, or yearly giving that debits directly from your bank account (FJLC’s preferred method).


Personal Offering Envelopes

Envelopes will be made available for you if you indicate this preference. These physical reminders can help you fulfill your obligation.  Once a year, everyone receives a pack of envelopes to use.


Use your Credit/Debt Card

We use "Square" stands at both campuses so that you can give in a way that make the most sense to you.  There is processing fee charged to the church for his service - so you might want to add a small amount to cover that fee.


Pew Envelopes

We provide small envelopes in the pew for your gift during service. Please be sure to mark your name on the envelope so we can attribute the gift towards your pledge.

 

Step 6: Receive Our Thanks!

Only you can help us grow together—thank you! We look forward to thanking you many times.