The Importance of Investing Day 3: Investing in Your Church
“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7, ESV)
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16, ESV)
I’ll start this day of the study by emphasizing the importance of being plugged in at a local church. During COVID, it was very common for churches to have virtual sessions as we all tried to follow the CDC guidelines. I remember going to church in our parking lot and hearing the message through the radio—crazy to think that was two years ago. I’m so thankful that for quite a few months we have been meeting in person, back to normal. In some places, that may not be the case, and in others, some who have the option to go in person are sticking to watching it online. I’m not here to bash the way anyone attends church, but I do think being there in person if at all possible and being plugged in is very important. God has given us gifts with which to serve Him and His people, and if we aren’t plugged into a local church, we are missing out on using those gifts for His glory and honor.
Once we see the importance of being plugged into a local church, what are some ways we can invest in it to help the church grow and see it flourish? We read in 2 Corinthians 9 about giving with a generous heart and being cheerful givers. One way we can do this is by giving money—given to us by God—back to the church. There are practical sides to this: paying rent for the building, paying for maintenance and upkeep, and all the other costs that go into a building. We all understand there are costs associated with living in ourhouse/apartment/dorm, and we pay our bills so we can continueliving there. The same applies to the church with all its costs.
Not only are there costs associated with the building and all the functions at our church, but there are various needs that must also be met in a monetary way. Sometimes offerings go to different missionaries who serve the Lord around the world and our money can support that work. We can also support specific families in need who may attend our local church—maybe covering the cost of their groceries, picking up a meal and bringing it to them, or just taking them out for a night of conversation and fellowship.
There are different ways we can monetarily support our church, to help further the Gospel, and support those in need. There’s no set amount or any sort of allocation of our giving outlined in the Bible apart from what we read about those who were to tithe 10% of their earnings—that is often much more than many of us give, if we’re honest. But when it comes to giving of our income to the Lord, we must make that personal decision ourselves. If it isn’t your habit already, I challenge you to look over your finances every month or so and see the different things you spend money on. Look at where your money has gone so far this year; break it down into categories of money set aside for saving/investing, food, clothing, bills, insurance, gas, and then note the category called “giving.” How much of what you spent is in that column? Trust me—it’s convicting for me too.
Another meaningful way to invest in your church is the giving of your time. We live in a society that is too busy. I get tangled up in this mentality all the time—my schedule starts to become an idol. I want to eke everything I can out of a day by filling it up completely. I rush to work, rush home, rush to the gym, rush to get dinner, rush to get in bed, and rush through important things like praying and spending time with the Lord in His Word. A quote from Chip Ingram comes to mind—he said that we need to “eliminate hurry” from our lives. I often need that reminder that life should not be marked by rushing from one thing to the next.
We can invest our time in our church by being present for church meetings/sermons, being involved in things like Sunday School or youth groups, spend time after church talking to other Christians, and offer to volunteer our time at outreach events like Vacation Bible School. Those are just a few examples of how we can give our time rather than being lost in the endless chaos of “being busy.” I pray that each of us will be challenged to invest more in our local church, whether that comes from being more generous with our money or our time. We will never regret giving more for the glory and honor of our Lord.