I’m trying to read through the New Testament this year. I’m following a plan in the Bible app on my phone. I’m asking God to reveal truths to me each time I read. I’ve missed several days but I double up on a day here or there and, as I write this, I am all caught up! I’m currently reading through the book of 1 Corinthians. In this book, Paul is instructing the Christians (who he believes should know better and more than what they are practicing) on the basics of living out the Christian faith. When we come to chapter 16 Paul talks about the monetary collection for God’s people and his work among them.
Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3 Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem.
From the inception of God’s relationship with his people, He has asked us to turn our financial resources back over to him so that his work may be fueled. Whether that be to build the temple and furnish the articles of worship within or the collection from God’s people turned over to the Apostles for God’s work through the Church, God has consistently asked those faithful to him to give.
The word “collection” which Paul uses here is quite appropriate to that end. The word implies the necessary machinery that is required to do God’s work through the Church and in the lives of people. We often prefer the use of the word “offering” since it expresses the sense of freedom and joy we experience in giving as well as the sacrificial act of offering up worship to God.
So, here is what Paul instructs the Church to do:
Giving should be out of concern for God’s people and meeting their needs. – Every dime White Oak is given is spent for that purpose.
Giving should be regular. – White Oak depends on your faithful and regular generosity weekly in order for ministry impact to continue.
Giving should be in proportion to our income (10% was practiced in the Old Testament as a baseline for giving. Jesus practiced this. It was more than likely an assumed practice by the early Christians). – We want all those who call White Oak home to intentionally learn from Jesus to be more like Jesus.
The collection for God’s work through his Church should be set aside as a priority. – This is my prayer for every one of us even as my wife, children, and I do the same in our home.
The handling of the collection should be surrounded by appropriate safeguards. –White Oak has a solid system of checks and balances as we take your generosity very seriously.
With both our campuses and online we are making strides to create new environments for people to connect with Jesus! We are beginning a new discipleship process where believers are huddling together with 2-3 others reading the New Testament together and training one another for ministry. We are launching new life groups this fall as well as kicking off an exciting season for children and student ministries! We are eager to use what God has given White Oak to improve and serve our communities. We are excited to fan the flame of impact through our global mission partners.
I’m asking you… not to do something unusual for God’s people… but to faithfully continue an ancient practice of worship. Would you begin, fuel, or continue offering your financial resources so that the work Jesus at and through White Oak may expand? To update your electronic offering, click here.
Together, We Move isn’t just a tagline we use. It is at the core of how the Jesus movement spanned an empire 2000 years ago and how White Oak has continued ministry for 190 years.
Giving with you and for Him, Nathan
Nathan Hinkle Lead Pastor, White Oak Christian Church
We’d like to invite you to find out more about Financial Peace University and how it can help you take control of your money, plan for your future and transform your life. To learn more and register, click here.