Common Questions on Giving

Responses to some common questions on giving to our church.

Does God need my money?

No. ‘The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it’ (Psalm 24). Everything belongs to God, which means that the money we have ultimately isn’t ours – we’re just stewards of it. What God really wants is us. God desires and is worthy of our worship and our generous use of the resources God has given us is an act of worship.

How much should I give?

A generous amount. The Bible doesn’t prescribe a set amount. Instead, the repeated principle in the Bible is cheerful, sacrificial generosity, that flows out of thankfulness, faith and love for God and others. ‘The absence of a specific mandate creates dependence on God because we must actively seek his will for our finances. We can’t identify a percentage and “set it and forget it.” Rather, giving is meant to be an ongoing, dynamic component of lives lived in worship of Jesus.’ (Jamie Munson in ‘Money: God or Gift’). Thinking practically, 10% is a good starting point for your financial generosity – but it’s just a starting point! It’s a good idea to continue to review this annually, to consider opportunities to be even more generous. At different stages of life, you might be able to give less, or much more. This is just one area of life to continually bring before God in prayer.

Can I trust church with my money?

Yep. Our church seeks to be an excellent steward of God’s money, and adheres to strict processes to budget, receive and spend money wisely. All spending is overseen by our church elders and the CityLight Board of Operations. An annual audit of all our expenses is conducted by an external accountant. The budget is presented to our church at each Annual Family Meeting. You are welcome to contact any member of the eldership or Board of Operations at any time with questions you have about the use of money at our church.

How is the budget allocated at church?

Thoughtfully. Our church is committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ in North Adelaide, and to the ends of the earth. We financially support our church-planting partner Acts 29. We have prioritised our budget to invest in (i) growing disciples of Jesus at CityLight Church North Adelaide and (ii) in gospel proclamation. We desire to see more people, more like Jesus, from all nations. The majority of the remainder of our budget goes on staff salaries – enabling people to have the time and energy to ‘prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ’ (Ephesians 4:12-13). Administrative costs round out our budget – to keep the lights on, pay rent, provide coffee, serve our free Sunday lunches, etc.

Why should I give to church?

We’re a family. As a member of our church, you’re part of a family, and families have financial needs. There are costs associated with church life (see above), and these are covered by God’s people – members of God’s family in our church at CityLight North. If you consider this to be your church family, please give generously to provide for its needs.

Can I give to other organisations?

Absolutely! You’re welcome and encouraged to give to other organisations. The Bible makes it clear that one use of our money is to provide for those in need (2 Corinthians 8-9), and as people who have great material wealth, we have the opportunity to provide for those in need in Adelaide, and beyond. However, as explained above, as a member of church, please make this family a priority for your giving.

What does the Bible have to say about giving?

Plenty. Jesus taught extensively about money, not because he wanted a handout but because he wanted our hearts. Here is a snapshot of what the Bible teaches about money:

  • Giving is a way of honouring God (Proverbs 3:9, 2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
  • Giving allows us the joy of being part of God’s mission (2 Corinthians 8)
  • Giving keeps our heart in step with the one true God (Matthew 6:21)
  • Giving provides for our church family (1 Corinthians 16:1)
  • Giving provides the labourer with his wages (Luke 10:7)
  • Giving reveals our true master, our dependence on and service of Him (Matthew 6:24)
  • Giving meets needs (2 Corinthians 8:13-15)
  • Giving is an opportunity to reap bountifully (2 Corinthians 9:6)
  • Giving demonstrates that we get grace (2 Corinthians 8:9)
  • Giving is a way of serving others (2 Corinthians 8:4)
  • Giving is a gift (Romans 12:8)
  • Giving is an opportunity to excel in godliness (2 Corinthians 8:7)
  • Giving (and the stewardship of other gifts) will be the bases of some of Jesus’ judgement (Matthew 25:14-30)
  • Giving allows us to be rich towards God (Luke 12:21)