Wayne's Worldview is a place to share my unique perspective of the world as formed from my interpretation of the scriptures and my experience as a Christian. As a pastor, I am asked a lot of questions about current issues, life dilemmas, personal problems, politics, biblical interpretation...etc.I offer these "How I see it" thoughts in effort to challenge people to think about their worldview, and to stimulate good conversations that will help us become more whole.
Welcome to the conversation.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Twofold Blessing of E-giving

As the world changes, there are more options, even in how we give at church. Remember when dad used to drop an envelope into the plate as it went by. Some people still prefer this time tested method, but Amy and I have been giving this way to FRC for the last two years, and we love it. Let me share with you some of the benefits of electronic transfer giving:
1. It has made us more consistent. As you might guess, we have a lot to do on Sunday mornings. After determining our tithe and setting the amount for the year that amount is given automatically without us ever having to “remember” to fill out the check and prepare the envelope. To be honest, we would occasionally miss this detail, and have to “make it up”, the next week.
2. We have become more faithful in our tithe. Our consistent giving, even while on vacation or attending a ministry event off site, does not impact our regular giving and we are not tempted to withhold when we go away.
3. It keeps us disciplined. In the past, when finances were lean, we sometimes would hold off giving, with the intention of making it up in the future. While we usually did, there were times when we never caught up. Since we have switched, we don’t consider it and have never had an issue with God not providing.
4. It has made us more generous with God’s money. In the past, we would consider giving a portion of our tithe to things other than the church and then subtract that from our weekly offering. Now we consider these gifts over and above our tithe. Giving to missions, youth group, the needy, special offerings etc., are now in a different category of giving for us.
Electronic contributions mean fewer envelopes to open, less manual accounting and reduced chances for errors. It also increases giving because it minimizes the weekly ebb and flow of giving regardless of members’ weekly attendance. When for example we have had to cancel services due to severe weather, the offerings dip and are not completely made up the following week. When vacations are at their peek in the summer time, the giving drops right with the attendance. How does it work? E-giving is very simple. Through a simple form, provided by the financial secretary, a church member pre-authorizes the church to have his or her contribution automatically debited from a checking or savings account. The church member can choose to have the contribution deducted weekly, semi-monthly, monthly or even annually. Once the church receives authorization for an electronic funds transfer, the church’s bank account is credited, and the parishioner’s account is debited the same amount on the schedule that is set up. It’s that simple. For us, this form of giving has helped us become more generous and more faithful. If you are interested in giving this way, you need only contact the church office.