Why We Give
Giving to the church is part of the duty and delight of being part of something larger than ourselves. Together the church can do so many things that individuals cannot do. But underlying financial stewardship are at minimum three principles:
1. We give because God has so freely and abundantly provided without our asking or knowing
2. We give as an act of worship—a gift of love, a gift of thanksgiving, a gift of our whole selves to God
3. We give as an expression of faith—acknowledging God as creator, redeemer, and sustainer of life, living into a spiritual discipline that forms the faithful in deeper abiding trust, and naming the privilege of living in relationship with God.
In the end, each member will pray about how their financial stewardship reflects their relationship with God.
It is also true that the church and its ministry cost. The church has property to maintain, staff to employ and compensate, program material and resources to purchase, and an obligation to support the wider church in both the Central States Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. There is much more to say about this, but this resource is intended to be a brief introduction and invitation.
How Much to Give
At Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church, the budgeted cost of ministry averages $2,500 per household. However, making offerings is not merely “giving to the budget”. One biblical principle is the tithe. It suggests that individuals intentionally give a percentage of their income as an offering. The goal may be a 10% tithe or more, though many may start with a smaller percentage and work toward a higher percentage. One stewardship professional says, “You cannot outgive God.” Jesus says, “Where your treasure is, your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)
Each member, by prayer and meditation, will develop their own stewardship plan. Below is a “Percentage Giving Chart” to assist with seeing how income and various offering commitments compare. By finding income across the top, one can follow the column down to the level of current giving to find current percentage giving. Or one can set a goal for percentage giving, and follow the row across to the annual or weekly income to find the offering that supports that goal.
Ways to Give
Each member household may receive a set of Offering Envelopes for each Sunday and holiday of the church year. By putting your check or cash in the envelope, the Financial Recording Secretary is able to keep track of giving and report it for tax purposes at the end of the year. When one is absent, offering can also be mailed.
If you are 70 ½ or older, you may wish to take your mandatory IRA distribution as a direct contribution to Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church. It won’t show up as income for you; it could reduce your tax burden; and you get to support your congregation. Check with your financial advisor about using this method.
Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church also offers electronic giving through the Saint Andrew’s website (Give+ Online) by “Click Here to Give Now” button above, through a smart phone app (Give+ Mobile), or by text message (Give+ Text). Members can establish their own profile, including their banking information (Checking, Savings, Debit, or Credit card), and manage their own giving either as one time events or scheduled transactions on a weekly or monthly basis.
Trusts, & Estate Gifts
Members of Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church have included Saint Andrew’s Lutheran and the Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Endowment Fund with gifts from their estates. If you also wish to support Saint Andrew’s from your estate, you can name the Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church as a beneficiary of a percentage or all of a life insurance policy, retirement account or with a specific percentage or remainder bequest in your Will or Trust. Ask your professional advisor how to make a gift or use our congregation’s gift planning assistants: Lutheran Planned Giving Services (Mr. Stephen Phelps, Regional Gift Planner, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church is grateful for the many ways that members make offerings of their time, their talents and their treasure. Thank you for the ways you participate in Saint Andrew’s Lutheran Church’s shared ministry. There is so much ministry that happens because of contributions, small or large by members of Saint Andrew’s. Thank you so very much.