What is important to consider when giving to ministries?
In Scripture, we are often challenged to give to meet the needs of others and to invest earthly treasures in the growth of God’s eternal kingdom. Not only is the act of giving important, but the attitude behind the gift is also important.
“He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (II Corinthians 9:6–8).
Every Christian should faithfully give a tithe of his income to his local church. This discipline provides financially for his spiritual leaders and ensures that the work of God is supported in his community. Gifts beyond the tithe may be given to support other leaders, ministries, and organizations.
There are several areas you should consider when giving to Christian ministries:
- Are the ministry and its leadership under the spiritual authority of a local church that honors the Word of God?
Accountability and the support of a local church are keys to success in ministry. The Apostle Paul carried on an outreach beyond the local church; however, he was sent out by a local church, reported back to them, and remained under their spiritual authority. (See Acts 13:1–3, 14:27.)
- Is the ministry based on sound doctrine?
Sound doctrine begins by accepting the verbally inspired Word of God. It recognizes that Jesus Christ is perfect God and perfect man. Doctrinal error is a sign of deep problems that will eventually diminish or destroy the potential of a ministry. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1).
- Is the ministry strengthening the local church?
God works through the local church to build up His kingdom. Christian ministries should be strengthening both the leaders and members of local churches to fulfill their God-given responsibilities. Spiritual gifts are given to the Church “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).
- Does the ministry teach and maintain Biblical standards?
Ministries should faithfully demonstrate God’s grace and truth by their words and actions. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11–12). (See also Romans 12:2.)
- Is there evidence of God’s supernatural working in the ministry?
God is a supernatural Being. His work in this world will be accented by supernatural power, evidenced in areas such as genuine conversions, Christians freed from the power of sin, broken marriages restored, and provision in answer to prayer. “My speech and my preaching was not with enticing word of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (I Corinthians 2:4).
God is generous, and as His children, we should reflect a family resemblance to our Father. As you joyfully steward your resources with wisdom, you can share the bounty of God’s provision with people who are in need.
This material is adapted from pages 67–69 of the Men’s Manual, Volume II.