It starts with a seemingly simple question from my daughter – “How much am I supposed to give to church as an offering?” I cringe. I hope I haven’t given her the wrong impression about Church offerings.
“It’s not what you're supposed to give,” I say, “but what do you want to give?”
“Why would I want to give away my money?” she asks.
Thinking about the clothes she bought the day before, I wonder why she gave her money away to that store. “Maybe you can think about giving to Church a little differently than just giving away your money,” I said. “You know how we like to volunteer to make a meal for people or clean up in parks? It makes us feel good when we help others or make a difference at places we like to visit, right? While it makes you feel good to do those things, it makes an even bigger difference to the people or for the places where you do those things. Giving to Church is the same idea- your offering is used to make a difference in other people’s lives by helping them experience the joy of knowing God.”
“So, why would I give to Church? Why not just give to other places?”
“Now that is a great question, because there’s more to an offering. In 2 Corinthians it says “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God”. Think about it this way - when someone does something nice for you, don’t you like to say thank you and do something nice for them in the future if you can?”
“That’s what an offering is all about. It’s more than just giving to places you like. It’s a way to say thank you to God for all the great things he’s given you. Giving your money or sharing your talents in Church shouldn’t be a chore or something you’re supposed to do. It’s a celebration of what God has given to you in the first place - whether big or small - and a way for you to say thank you and to follow in his footsteps by doing something nice without expecting anything in return. In reality, you’re not really the giver with an offering - you’re the one who’s already received God’s blessing and this is your chance to say thank you.”