Giving at Christ Church
In a growing church like Christ Church, there's a temptation to feel that your contribution doesn't make much difference. However, financing the ministry is dependent on the giving of our whole church family, and we encourage every member of Christ Church to consider making some contribution to support the ministry. The information below tells you about our approach to giving here at Christ Church. It sets out some of the biblical principles of giving, explains how you can begin to give to the church and explains the benefits of making regular, tax-efficient gifts.
What the Bible says about giving
'Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!'
This verse, 2 Corinthians 9:15, sums up the main motivation for Christian giving: thankfulness. We want to express our thanks to God for our salvation in Jesus acknowledging that everything we have comes from him.
In a culture dominated by materialism and individualism, there is something distinctively radical about Christian giving. When Christians make material sacrifices in order to benefit others they are living contrary to the spirit of our age. But why do they do this? King David observes in 1 Chronicles 29 that everything belongs to God. Therefore all our resources must be at God's disposal and used in his service; giving financially is just one expression of this. The Old Testament people of God gave a tithe of ten per cent (Matthew 23:23) and many Christians find this a helpful benchmark for their own giving. But the New Testament has more to teach us.
2 Corinthians 8 & 9
According to 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, Christian giving should be:
- Motivated by grace (8:1-9) Christian giving is a response to the gospel of grace, in which we receive extraordinary blessings from God, and is itself a means of God's grace to us. Sacrificial giving appropriately reflects this gospel and responds to it.
- In proportion to our means (8:12-15) We give according to the riches God has given us. Even though her gift was small, Jesus commended the widow because she gave extravagantly (Luke 21).
- Carefully supervised (8:16-24) To guard against any suggestion of financial mismanagement.
- Willing and cheerful (9:1-7) Because God loves a cheerful giver who gives gratefully in response to God.
- A source of spiritual blessing (9:8-11) God promises that grace will abound to us as we give ourselves generously in his service.
- A source of thanksgiving to God (9:12-14) Christian giving is a huge source of encouragement. As we give, and others give, thanksgiving returns to God and he is glorified by such a clear demonstration of his grace at work in people's lives.
Regular and private
In addition, our giving should be regular (1 Corinthians 16:2) and private. Jesus tells us that Christian giving should be between us and God (Matthew 6:1-5). It mustn't be motivated by a desire to impress others, but should arise from private thought and prayer (and discussion within a marriage).
How will your money be used?
If you do decide to give to Christ Church, just what are we planning to do with your hard-earned cash? The short answer is that we will endeavor to use it for the greater glory of God; to use it to make Christ known and to build up the Kingdom of God and the people of Christ. All of which amount to the same thing because, extraordinarily, according to the Bible God chooses to bring glory to himself in and through his people (Ephesians 1:12, 14), so that 'through the church the manifold wisdom of God [is] made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places' (Ephesians 3:10).
That doesn't mean building an impressive church in worldly terms - that could only bring glory to us. It is spiritual progress we must seek: a church marked by men, women, young people and children who understand the gospel of grace and seek to live as wholehearted disciples of Christ. Everything we do is aimed at this goal.
We want to spend as much as we can on the task of building the body of Christ. We also want to spend money on good outreach events, to bring the gospel to those who don't know it. Thirdly, we want to be able to give money away: to support other ministries that share our aims and priorities but rely on churches like us to be able to function.
How do I give?
Please download the transcript from a talk given by Steve Midgley on 16th Oct 2011.
How to give
Regular giving is an enormous help to us in our planning. To set up a regular standing order please download the standing order form contained within our Giving booklet and return it to the Treasurer. You can also make one-off gifts by cheque, charity account or direct bank transfer. Please note that the legal name for Christ Church is 'The PCC of St Andrew the Less, Cambridge' and we are a registered charity (number 1151611). Cheques should be made payable to 'St Andrew the Less' and passed to the Treasurer or left in the box by the information desk.
Tax-Efficient Giving / Gift Aid
We can reclaim from the Inland Revenue the basic rate tax that donors have paid on their donations, if they complete a Gift Aid Declaration form available from the church office.
To qualify for Gift Aid you must pay UK income tax (and/or capital gains tax) at least equal to the tax reclaimed on your donations. There is no minimum amount or minimum term for Gift Aid.
If you pay tax at the higher rate you can claim further tax relief when submitting your annual tax return. We cannot do this on your behalf.
If you are unsure whether you qualify for Gift Aid or you have any questions about tax-efficient giving, or if you need to cancel your Gift Aid Declaration, please contact the Treasurer.
Changes in your Situation
Please contact the Treasurer to advise of any changes in your situation - for example the amount or frequency of a Standing Order, if you stop or start paying tax and particularly any change of name or address.
Contacting the Treasurer:
Pray. Ask God how best you can support his gospel work with the money he has given you
Decide. Resolve how much to give and how often Giving booklet
Act. Please fill in and return the form in the Giving form