How much of my money is the church entitled to?
Absolutely none! The church is not entitled to the money God has entrusted to you. We don’t believe in pressuring people to give. We are grateful for whatever donations you choose to make.
How does the church spend the money we give?
In short, we feed, clothe, and minister to the poorest in our city, we welcome everyone to the table of fellowship, and we teach children and adults how to follow the teachings of Jesus. That’s what we do in a nutshell. We work hard to stretch every dollar so we can make the biggest possible impact on people’s lives for the whole gospel.
Are we required to give to be part of this church?
Absolutely not! We certainly hope you will give. We definitely need charitable giving to operate. And we think FCC is worthy of your giving. But the church is not entitled to the money God has entrusted to you. Therefore, we are truly grateful for any gift you make. According to our bylaws, those nominated to be Elders, Trustees, and Board Officers must show a history of regular financial support of our church, but that is just one measurement of commitment for leaders. Church members and attendees have no such requirement.
Are there other ways to give besides money?
Of course! We sometimes speak about how God may be calling you to give your “time, talent, or treasure.” Besides financial contributions, we also need volunteers to help with Music, Children’s Ministry, Sarah’s Hope Food Pantry, our Community Dinners and Breakfasts, and more. We also need people with gifts of administration, finance, technology, etc. We are grateful for any expression of giving you have to offer with a joyful heart. To make a pledge of volunteering, go to www.fccoceanside.org/pledge.
What if we can’t give financially?
As I wrote above, we do not believe people are obligated to give to the church. As a minister, over the years my family has sometimes experienced periods of financial hardship. So if you are in that place, I can empathize with you. We have been there. In the story of The Widow’s Mite (Luke 21:1-4), Jesus teaches that everyone can give something. Even better, the liberating message of that story is that, in the eyes of God, the smallest gifts of the poor count for more than the largest gifts of the wealthy! That means everyone can participate equally in the dignity of contributing to God’s work, even if what they are able to give is small in the eyes of the world.
Should my family be “tithing?”
Sometimes people are surprised to learn that as a Pastor, I do not teach “tithing” – which is the Old Testament practice of giving 10%. I believe the New Testament shows that some may be called to give less, while others are called to give even more, each according to the means and grace God has given to us. A good passage of scripture for guidance in this matter is 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15. I encourage you to read and reflect on it prayerfully.
How much should we give?
That is entirely between you and God. I personally find it helpful to ask God in prayer to give me and my wife a sense of what percentage of our time and money God is calling us to give this year. Then, we do the math and check to see if that amount is sustainable. If not, we keep praying. If we disagree, we keep praying. Some could easily give more than 10%. Others would be hard-pressed to give 1%. Any amount is acceptable to God as long as you are being obedient to what God calls you to give. A good test is that you should be able to give joyfully. As Paul writes “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Why are you asking for pledges and what if we can’t fulfill it?
We are asking for pledges so we can estimate a more accurate budget for this coming fiscal year. Circumstances change, and sometimes people are not able to give what they intended. That’s okay. God is faithful, so we trust him as a church, no matter what happens. We will never nag you about your giving or try to “collect” on what you pledged (that would be disgusting). Again: the church is not entitled to the money God has entrusted to you. We are grateful for whatever you choose to give. However, because we are building a budget, please make every effort to pledge an amount that you can realistically and sustainably give. To make your pledge, go to www.fccoceanside.org/pledge.
Can I give online or setup automatic giving?
Absolutely! Jenell and I give online and give automatically so we never forget. You can do that by going to www.fccoceanside.org/pledge and clicking the green “Give Now” button. You can also setup weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly automatic giving if you prefer. Giving this way is convenient and completely secure. It also helps strengthen the church by building a reliable flow of donations. If you are able, please consider giving this way.
If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to call me at the church office at (760) 722-8522.
Jason Coker, Pastor