Giving is an act of worship and an act of commitment to the community of believers, and to those in need.
Are you unable to get here in person, but prefer to write a check? Please send it to the address below:
Attn: Tabernacle of Praise Church of the Lord Jesus Christ
P.O. Box 661
Olive Branch, Mississippi 38654
Generosity starts with an understanding that everything we have is a gift from God and for God. Generosity is giving above and beyond what is expected. It’s giving selflessly and sacrificially. No matter where you are in your journey of generosity, here are some practical steps that will help you grow in the grace of giving.
Tithes and Offerings
Giving is one of our greatest privileges as Christ-followers. It is an act of worship, the overflow of a grateful heart. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” That’s where true joy is found—on the giving side of life. It starts with giving God the tithe, the first ten percent of our income. Giving above and beyond the tithe is called an offering, and it’s one way to grow in generosity.
But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 2 CORINTHIANS 8:7
The First Level of Generosity: Giving Spontaneously
You may catch a vision or sense a need, and you feel compelled to do something about it. Spontaneous generosity is stepping up and stepping in with a gift of time, talent or treasure. There may not be a rhythm to your giving, but there is a rhyme. You give as the Spirit leads, and that’s where generosity begins. Paul spotlights the generosity of the Macedonians this way: “This was totally spontaneous, entirely their own idea, and caught us completely off guard.”
The Second Level of Generosity: Giving Consistently
If you are going to grow in any area of your life, consistency is key. And that’s certainly true of generosity. This is how the rhyme turns into a rhythm, and we have the added advantage of automatic withdrawal. Like any spiritual discipline, we’ve got to be careful that it doesn’t turn into rote routine or empty ritual. The idea of a weekly offering traces its origins back to 1 Corinthians 16:2: “On the first day of the week, each of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income.” One way Lora and I practice consistent generosity is via recurring giving. It turns consistent generosity into clockwork. Of course, we continue to give spontaneously to a wide variety of kingdom causes as the Lord leads us.
The Third Level of Generosity: Giving Proportionately
2 Corinthians 8:11 says, “Give in proportion to what you have.” This idea of proportionate generosity traces back to the Old Testament tithe, which literally means ten percent. But it’s not any ten percent, it’s the first ten percent or firstfruits. The tithe isn’t the ultimate goal in the journey of generosity, but it’s a key benchmark. And in my experience, God can do more with 90% than we can do with 100%. Why? Because we cannot out-give God.
The Fourth Level of Generosity: Giving Radically
In 2 Corinthians, we read that the Macedonian church was being tested by severe trials and tribulations. Paul doesn’t detail how those early Christians were being harassed and oppressed, but he points out that their “extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” He says, “They gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.” Radical generosity is giving above and beyond the tithe, above and beyond your ability. That’s how we stretch our faith, and that’s the goal. Ultimately, Lora and I have a goal of reverse tithing. In other words, we want to live off of ten percent and give ninety percent back to God. That doesn’t mean we don’t save for college or save for retirement. And that kind of generosity doesn’t happen overnight. But if you live to give, you will grow in the grace of giving. And God’s kingdom will advance because of it. In fact, your generosity will turn into someone else’s miracle!
All gifts made to the Tabernacle of Praise Church of the Lord Jesus Christ “to and for the use of” TOPCLJC are tax-deductible. When donors give any single contribution over $250, they will receive a report of their donations by January 31 of the following year. These statements can be mailed upon request.
In order for them to be tax-deductible, gifts made to the church may not be designated (in writing or verbally) unless the designation is for a pre-approved project or program of the church. By law, the church must exercise full administrative control of the donated funds in order for them to be tax-deductible to the donor.