Questions About Faith and Finances

Why should a Christian be financially generous?

First, Christian generosity is rooted in an understanding that all we are and have belongs to God, the Creator (Psalm 24:1). God is the owner and we are managers, commissioned to follow God’s guidelines for living. As owner, God has made clear that faithful managers should be generous.

Secondly, we are grateful for God’s unconditional love and forgiveness expressed through Christ’s sacrificial death (1 Corinthians 6:20). Our gratitude is expressed through our faithful obedience to God’s design for living, which prescribes a generous heart and pocketbook.

We give our tithe and time not in order to gain favor with God, but out of gratitude for the gift of our salvation in Jesus Christ, so that in our whole life we may show ourselves grateful to God for His many blessings.

In the Bible, generosity is linked to:
Growing Spiritually (Matthew 6:19-24)
Our Need to Give (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Worshiping God (Exodus 35:4-5)
The Need of Our Neighbor (Matthew 25:31-40)
Our Resulting Sanctification (2 Corinthians 9:11-12)

Why did Jesus link our spiritual lives so closely to financial matters?

Throughout the Bible, idolatry and greed are consistenly portrayed as contrary to God’s purposes. Because the love of money is central to both behaviors, Jesus spoke regularly of the relationship between our pocketbooks and the spiritual vitality of our hearts.

In our present-day culture, the issue of finances remains a key to our spiritual lives. Many individuals, families, organizations, and businesses experience serious financial problems caused by idolatry and greed.

According to the Bible, how am I to give?

The Bible suggests that our generosity be:
Regular (1 Corinthians 6:2)
Proportional (2 Corinthians 8:12)
Sacrificial (Mark 12:43-44)
Cheerful (2 Corinthians 9:7)

How much should I give?

The teaching of the New Testament encourages giving in proportion to the material blessings one has received, with special attention and commendation for sacrificial giving. At New Hope Church, we recognize the tithe (10%) as the biblical model for giving.

Additionally, in response to Christ’s abundant giving to us, we should increasingly seek to submit our personal resources to Him, displaying a spirit of generosity and cheerfulness (Matthew 6:19-21 and 33; Matthew 23:23; Luke 6:38; Luke 21:1-4; Malachi 3:8-10; 2 Corinthians 8 and 9; Proverbs 3:9-10).

Where should I give my tithe?

At New Hope Church, we believe that a Christian’s primary giving is to be directed to the local church. In both the Old and New Testaments, offerings were regularly collected to maintain the ongoing work of God in the world. Today, this means giving to the church which Christ established.

Where do I learn more about Christian stewardship?

We encourage personal reading and study of the many biblical teachings about stewardship. We encourage church members to share their own stewardship stories, particularly with regard to how they have grown in their life of stewardship. Resources are also available in the church library.

Are members expected to make a financial commitment?

Most assuredly! We believe in unanimous giving, from the youngest child to the oldest adult. In fact, we want to challenge each person who considers New Hope to be “their” church to grow toward the biblical model of tithing (10%) by one percent of income each year. For example, if you are currently giving 2% of your income to the church, we challenge you to consider increasing your giving to 3%.

We encourage you to take the next step of faith and live as Christ prescribes. This also offers a realistic strategy by which many have faithfully strengthened their financial stewardship. If you have never made a financial commitment, we encourage you to begin with a reasonable goal, and plan to increase your giving annually.

Each fall we at New Hope have the opportunity to communicate our anticipated giving for the upcoming year. This estimate may be revised upward or downward as circumstances warrant. This also assists the church’s leadership in planning responsibly.

Sixteen of Jesus’ thirty-eight parables refer to our relationship with our money, recognizing that our stewardship is a barometer of our spiritual condition. At New Hope we believe that faithful stewardship promotes spiritual growth, not because the church needs to receive, but because each of us has a need to give, as Jesus consistently taught.