Why give to Christian work?
The Bible tells us that sacrificial giving for gospel work is a mark of spiritual maturity and therefore every Christian should aim to be giving regularly for their church ministries. The basis of this of course is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who gave His life for us; as his followers our lives and all we have belong to Him.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
How much should we give to Christian work?
How much we give will inevitably vary. The Old Testament required God’s people to give 10% of their income (known as tithing).
The New Testament doesn’t impose any law upon us, but simply expects that we will give sacrificially (foregoing certain pleasures) and gratefully (in response to Christ’s sacrifice for us). The amount of our regular giving is therefore a matter of conscience, but it seems appropriate to start at the Old Testament level and increase as income and maturity allow. Most churches around the world (however poor) would expect something like that level of commitment. This will not be possible for everyone, but a key principle is to begin somewhere, even if it is at a few pounds a month as a student. Every Christian should be involved.
At St James' the size of monthly gifts varies greatly depending on the circumstances of each person, but we are immensely grateful to God for each giver and each gift.