The New Testament church was known as a giving church. As a rule, they gave to their local expression of church. Each follower determined a minimum standard of giving (tithe) and then was generous in giving beyond it. But on occasion, they were asked to give an offering. An offering was for something above and beyond a tithe that God could use for the purposes of expanding His kingdom and blessing others.
Paul took up an offering from various churches when a famine greatly impacted the church in Jerusalem. In 3 John, we read of John encouraging the church to support certain people. These were not to be in lieu of a tithe, but a giving of an offering to help them in a moment in time. Paul was adament that while his primary means of support was tent-making, he believed it was good for churches to give an occasional offering for supporting certain people or ministries.
So an offering is a gift above and beyond a tithe meant to bless God’s church. It is an outrageous expression of generosity in a generous church.
We’re kicking off our Stretch year with a GP Rise event (celebration, worship, commitment). Think of it as the gun going off for the Stretch race God has called us to run (for more on this see “Our Vision” under the Stretch tab). On that evening we’re committing to serving in a ministry and to participating in a Life Group or Class. And we will take up an offering.
The challenge is simple: to commit to give one days wage as an offering.
The offering will go toward three things: 1) renovation of facilities, (2) a new campus (all future new campuses will be self-sustaining financially from day one, so we have a good plan in place), (3) seed money for our Gibraltar (a Gibraltar is a HUGE rock…like the rock of Gibraltar…that is a social issue in the world. We will spend years pushing against that rock to help make the world a better place socially).