GIVE. Not “FIVE.” 🙂
A few weeks ago we started teaching something that I believe every Christian should learn, but it’s particularly helpful to learn when you’re young… giving. While we’re certainly not expecting to bring in the millions from this group, I’ve already been surprised to see them sacrifice and give weekly to our offerings. We handed out a booklet that will help explain the reasons we’re giving and what we’re giving toward, and it can be downloaded by clicking the image below.
All I’m asking of the Teens of Faith is that they sacrifice, because that’s all God asked. The little bitty poor church in Macedonia gave WAY beyond their means, and they were an example to all the other churches to which Paul ministered. I dealt with giving in a prior post and in the booklet itself and will not take the time to elaborate now, but to simply state it: Submit to God, ask His will, and do it obediently and happily. You’ll WISH you’d done it WAY sooner, because He then obligates himself to bless you… what a cool cycle to be in on!
Sacrifice. Sometimes it’s a scary word because it hurts. We will only be helped by helping others, and a sacrifice to one teen might look totally different from another. I challenged every teen through a note to “buy into” this weekly offering and really commit to be involved… whatever it means for them. $1 a week might be a sacrifice to some, and $10 a week might be nothing to others. What does God say? How much do you feel God would be pleased with? The sacrifice made ought to be felt, and we’ve challenged them with at least a dollar a week. That amount seems VERY easy to me, especially when our highest-attended activity was Knott’s Berry Farm where about 35 kids somehow came up with $28 each… plus money for meals! Don’t tell ME you don’t have the money! Here are some practical ways to raise $1 a week:
- Instead of ordering your normal $5 of food at McD’s, cut out the fries and ask your parents for the remaining $1.
- Ask if you can do some extra chores for $1 a week.
- Go door-to-door selling candy to raise funds for national church planting (where these offerings are going). Buy a big box from Costco and sell the individual candies for $1 ea. I used to earn almost my entire camp money that way… but it’s WORK!
- Scrounge up quarters.
- Collect aluminum cans.
Ask Bro. Hank to pull 4 quarters out of your ear.No… don’t do that one. 🙂
All this is to say… TRY! What I want to avoid is a “gimme-my-dollar” mentality, and I want it to become real to the teens individually. It won’t mean a thing if it’s doesn’t hurt a little, so parents… make them earn it! I like what one of the teens who’s worked up a lot of money said, “I’ve got $___ saved up from working, and that’s AFTER TITHE, AFTER MISSIONS money!” (Emphasis mine.) Amen! That’s sacrifice. That’s work.
God obligates himself to bless you when you’re obedient to Him, so put it to the test. Try Him and see! You’ll be amazed at God’s ABUNDANCE. (I LOVE that word. Study it out for yourself.) Anyway, enjoy the booklet contents below.
Why Do I Give?
Giving is biblical. That should be reason enough, right?
Not only that, though, we give because it’s even FUN! Don’t you love to be on the giving end of things? It’s great to be blessed enough to be able to help others.
Not only that, God lets us in on a whole cycle of abundance, and we can NEVER out-give Him.
How Do I Give?
First, tithe. Give a tenth of any income back to God. Then…
Get in on the cycle. 2 Corinthians 9 gives us a very cool cycle that God allows us to be a part of:
1) We give as God leads (v. 7)2) God blesses the giver (vv. 8-11)3) God gets the thanks and glory (vv. 12-13) 4) We give as God leads…
Whether God leads you to give $.50, $1, $10, more or less, as long as you are obedient, God obligates himself to bless you! How cool is that! He PROMISED it, so hold Him to it!
Where Will It Go?
Here’s the fun part…
Every year, Heartland Baptist Bible College hosts over 80 church planters from all over America–men who are giving their lives to start churches from scratch. These pastors come to present their burdens and needs, and churches like ours rally behind them and SACRIFICIALLY GIVE thousands of dollars to these needs.
We are going to get in on that!
As God provides, a few of us will fly to Heartland with Pastor for the meeting, and we’ll give away our Teens of Faith Home Missions Fund.
How Much Do We Need?
We’re taking $500 this January, and even more next year. We’ll be able to contribute $50 to 10 different ministries.
You have to see the conference first-hand to understand how it works, but it’s a moving experience. Church planters will have cars, hymnals, chairs, buses, and money given to them, and God gets all the glory. What a fun cycle to be in on!