As a church planter’s wife, I have a front-row seat to the beauty of Christ’s church. However, in this past year especially, many people have expressed to me varying sentiments such as, “If only the church cared more about issues of race, religious freedom, and abortion. If only the church was passionate about caring for orphans and widows, sheltering the homeless, supporting the abused, engaging the LGBTQ community, and fighting human trafficking. If only the church . . ..”
I can’t tell you that the church serves all people perfectly all the time, but I’ve often answered these “if only the church” statements with a clear and confident, “The church is doing that!”
God’s people aren’t wired to stand by silently while injustice abounds. We can’t stop ourselves from showing compassion toward those in our communities who are hurting. And while it’s true that we don’t always know the right way to think and speak about controversial issues, we lovingly lean in and humbly dialogue as people who want Christ to be glorified in every issue and among all people.
This is what the church does. And this is why it’s important for us to be generous and sacrificial givers to her. The ministry of the church requires resources. If we care about the issues impacting our culture, and if we care for the people struggling under these burdens to be discipled in God’s Word, then we’ll commit to financially investing in churches to make a difference in worldly matters while drawing people into kingdom living.
Investing in the Worthiest Cause
My work with parachurch ministries has given me the inclination that many people sitting in the pews may be giving most of their charitable contributions to organizations that they know of, are connected to and care about, but don’t necessarily align with their ultimate priorities.
I’m certainly not suggesting that Christians shouldn’t support various causes through nonprofits or community organizations! Of course, we should. I’m encouraging you to consider the church as the “charity” most worthy of your above and beyond giving. Our faith in Christ Jesus is the most important thing in our lives. As such, we must carefully consider where our charitable giving is going. Do the causes we financially support align with our faith? Are we investing in what matters most to us and in what is of most eternal significance?The church is making a difference. It’s the primary way of reaching people in their indifference, or even animosity, toward Christ with the transformational gospel. Click To Tweet
Our financial investments showcase our priorities. It matters who we give to and what we invest in. It matters to the person who hears about God’s salvation through Christ from the local church. It matters to the missionary sent to faraway lands to share the good news to those who’ve never heard it. It matters to God.
Scripture Shapes Our Giving Priorities
Anyone can help support humanitarian causes, but the responsibility (and privilege) is squarely on our shoulders, brothers and sisters in Christ, to resource and perpetuate the gospel ministry of our churches. We most want to cherish and support gospel proclamation. We take our cues from Scripture. After Jesus commissioned his first disciples to be his witnesses (Acts 1:8), they got busy preaching the gospel and planting churches by the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1–47).
I want to build up the church and make disciples of neighbors and nations. I want my future grandchildren to experience Christ-centered preaching, Spirit-empowered evangelism, and gospel community. What I invest in today impacts what they will benefit from and get to be generous toward tomorrow. Generously investing in churches and church planting so that the gospel is proclaimed to as many people as possible is a distinctly worthy cause.
Christians are the only people who consider evangelism, spreading the gospel, preaching the Word, and building the church as it relates to charitable giving. But if that’s what our lives are all about, why wouldn’t we make our charitable giving all about it, too? If gospel ministry is the main point of our lives, I challenge us to make it the main point of our charitable giving, too.
Remember, healthy and faithful churches provide some of the most needed services to society—love, community, fellowship to those that others overlook, pastoral counsel, and prayer. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, as cited in The Wall Street Journal, about one in four people with mental health concerns turn to a clergy member before seeking help from a clinical professional. Churches also regularly provide clothes, food, rent assistance, transportation, and more in their communities.
We give—generously, sacrificially, and joyfully—so that churches can impact communities near and far for the good of man and the glory of God. Click To TweetThe church is making a difference. It’s the primary way of reaching people in their indifference, or even animosity, toward Christ with the transformational gospel. This is why we delight to financially invest in the planting of healthy, multiplying churches. We give—generously, sacrificially, and joyfully—so that churches can impact communities near and far for the good of man and the glory of God.