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SPRING BREAKTHROUGH – INFINITY #4AM – WHY WE GIVE TO VISION

INFINITY – THE MESSAGE SO FAR stewardship_wheat

This quarter is Spring Breakthrough. It’s a time when we as pastors are challenging us all to press into God and seek a breakthrough in our lives and our walk with God.

This month the theme is Infinity. We can see that giving to stewardship is a way that our gifts keep on making a difference over and over again onto infinity. Giving to The youth and young adults ministry in this church will see young people saved. Some of them will go onto serve God in ministry. Their fruit will see other young people come to Christ and in turn they will lead others to Christ. It keeps on going on and on.

What is stewardship? The bible teaches stewardship. Through the New Testament, Jesus teaches that we are stewards or managers of wealth that truly belongs to God. Even when we give an offering to God, we are actually distributing what really belongs to Him and keeping what He directs we need for yourselves. A disciple is one who knows by revelation that his life and his possessions are not his own but God owns all things.

This months messages are about how to make giving a tool to give you a breakthrough.

The power to see miracles and enable the hand of God to move in your life is greatly increased as a person makes a faith step to give to God as they pray and seek Him. This financial gift is called a memorial offering. I encourage you to listen to the last two Sunday morning messages where we shared about Cornelius and then Hannah who mixed giving with prayer to see enormous breakthroughs in their lives. I know you want to see God do great things in your life and give you miracles. Don’t discount this powerful way of giving as a way to experience God’s answers.

Every year we invest our resources into the kingdom for ministry and for facilities. It is a privilege for God’s people to give. Unless a church has no vision it must create finance to bring forth the vision God has called it to.

We have no fear in asking God’s people to give towards Kingdom Purpose because there can be no higher cause. There is nothing greater than the kingdom of God. There is no more significant cause than the local church. It is the forefront of God’s work in the earth. While some short sighted Christians walk away from local church – Jesus says, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” (Matt 16:18)

In teaching about giving, we not only develop the godly quality of generosity which leads to changed lives, but we empower people to develop faith to receive supernaturally from God allowing them to give and actually increase in their net worth.

Here are eight reasons why we give to vision in this church.

1.  PEOPLE GIVE WHEN THEY TRUST THE LEADERSHIP.

John 10:1-11 says, “The sheep listen to the shepherd’s voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. He goes on ahead of them and his sheep follow him because they know his voice but they will never follow a stranger. In fact, they will run from him. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd.” Studies have shown that in the hierarchy of giving, people give first of all to people they believe in. Then they give to purposes. Finally they give to programs. That means that the most essential elements in considering your giving are relational, not functional.

Chris and I have been the senior pastors of this local church for 19 years, State directors of our church movement called inc (formerly COC) for 12 years. We have seen this church grow to 250 members, plant other churches and make a significant community impact. We have invited you, the congregation, to participate in financial management; and each year we have had our books audited externally, and hold an AGM where we publish our financial figures and invite questions and scrutiny. More than that, all the staff have at times willingly taken pay cuts to ensure the financial strength and viability of this local church into the future. I believe you can trust the leadership of this local church.

2.  PEOPLE GIVE WHEN THEY CATCH A VISION, NOT WHEN THEY SEE A NEED.

The Bible says, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” Often the more successful a church is, the more people will feel comfortable about giving to it. Why? People give to success. They give to vision. They see the proven track record. They don’t give to needs.  People give when they catch a vision and they get the big picture. How can we together make a difference?

We must be very clear about what our vision is. At PlentyValleyChurch, rather than have a vision for a building, we have a vision for what the building can help us do. We emphasize the lives that will be changed as people give – the marriages that will be saved, the broken people that are going to be put back together, the people who will break addictions, the changed lives that will happen. That’s the vision! Reaching out – Changing lives.

Here is a list of the goals we are giving towards for this coming year:

This is the Vision for which we are giving to make an infinite impact.

  1. Youth and Young Adults Ministry – Part time wage – $20,000
  2. Destiny Rescue – Rescuing kids from sexual slavery – $10,000
  3. Local Outreach – Community Kitchen, Family Violence initiatives. – $10,000
  4. Facility Upgrade – New equipment for sound and video image production – $20,000

3.  PEOPLE GIVE TO EXPERIENCE THE JOY OF GENEROSITY.

It feels good to give generously – it really does. A person who doesn’t understand that has never given generously. The happiest people in the world are the most giving people. There are three main kinds of motivation to give. Love, Fear and guilt. Love is the nature of God. He so loved the world that He gave. (John 3:16) Fear causes you to give to avoid a problem or a negative outcome, there’s no joy in that. Guilt is used to motivate people by men without vision; it’s the lowest level motivation. We recognise the joy of giving. It is a joy to give and make a difference in lives for God’s purpose even if that means sacrificial giving.

In this church we do not teach that God wants everybody to be rich. However in teaching on faith and helping people believe God that they can make a difference, they are blessed.  The fact is, there are more promises in the Bible related to giving than any other subject. You cannot out-give God. If you’re going to be Christlike you will learn to give.

4.  PEOPLE GIVE WHEN THEY ARE INSPIRED BY OTHERS.

We learn best by watching role-models. That’s why a testimony about giving is a thousand times more effective than a sermon on giving. Those who lead, motivate us. Giving is contagious. So I encourage you to write down and send me your testimonies, how you decided to give, and what you are giving.

Examples:

(A) Marita – Scholarship money received this week.

(B) Lach – gave 500 in year 12, and at age 22, he was able to purchase his second house.

(C) Dan Power – great giver, just received a promotion and pay rise in this spring breakthrough period.

(D) Each year, over the last 19 years, Chris and I have been the biggest or second biggest givers in the church to Stewardship and Kingdom Advance giving every year. We don’t advertise how much we give because that’s not our reward but you can ask John as we are accountable to him in our giving. God has blessed us and looked after us.

5.  PEOPLE GIVE WHEN THEY ARE INVOLVED.

Paul told the Philippians, “I thank God because of your partnership in the gospel.”  The fact is those who are most passionate about the goals will be those who sacrifice the most. The more a person or family has roots down, and the more they are actively engaged in paddling the boat forward, the more they are likely to give. It may seem strange but the biggest givers are not the highest earners but they are the ones with the biggest passion.

6.  PEOPLE GIVE WHEN YOU ASK THEM TO GIVE.

James says, “You have not because you ask not.” The Bible says ask and seek and knock. God asks people to give. The fact is we’re doing you a favour when we ask you to give because you will grow in faith, you will grow in love, you will grow in sacrifice, you will grow in commitment, and you will grow in character as you learn to give. You will be blessed in return. I have learned to ask everybody, even those who have nothing, because I have seen over and over that when anyone makes a step of faith to give, it’s the key to their financial freedom.

7.  PEOPLE GIVE WHEN WE MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR THEM TO GIVE.

2 Corinthians 8 says, “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.” That means we will make it possible for you to give in as many different ways as possible. Such as cash donations, pledges, regular credit card giving, direct debits, paypal etc.

We will help you understand you can either give by reason or by revelation. Giving by reason means this – I look at what I have, I figure out what’s reasonable and I commit that amount. It doesn’t take any faith to give by reason. I just figure out what can I afford to give. Giving by revelation means I determine my gift by praying “Lord, what do You want to give through me?” This requires faith. When you give by revelation, you’re committing an act of worship and saying, “How much am I willing to trust God?”

8.  PEOPLE GIVE WHEN THEIR GIFTS ARE APPRECIATED.

The whole book of Philippians is just a thank you letter from Paul for their offering, for their financial support. Each year as people give, we do our best to say thanks, here at church, with letters, with dinners and other ways. We truly appreciate your love, your giving and your sacrifice.

HOW OUR GIVING WILL TAKE PLACE

Next Saturday night we will be holding the Infinity Dinner. You are invited. It is a fund raising dinner. All this month we have been sharing the vision and inspiring our members to give towards the vision. On the dinner night we will show you the vision with video presentations. We have Simone Anderson singing, and we have Pastor Geoff Woodward speaking. On that night we will give you a giving card and ask you to donate or pledge over the next 12 months a figure that you believe God is saying to you that you can give. On Sunday those who were not able to make it to the dinner will have an opportunity to give also. This is not just a free dinner. Please don’t invite people to come just because it is an awesome night with free food, please make it clear that we are asking them to give big towards a compelling vision.

If you have committed to give last year, and for what ever reason, you were not able to complete your promise; please consider your promise forgiven. Seek God for a new goal and begin again to make a fresh impact. Only those people who have a ticket can attend this dinner. If you just roll up on the night we will not have catered for you.

To obtain a ticket please see one of these table captains:

  1. Craig Anderson
  2. John Matthews
  3. Dan & Meg Power
  4. Bob & Rita Ireland
  5. Ross and Kim Parker
  6. Puna & Natasha Ngarua
  7. Rhys & Mira Anderson
  8. Alex Fabiani & Yas Barber
  9. Santo and Remi Pandolfo
  10. Chris & Alicia Duncan

(Parts of this message were inspired by Pastor Rick Warren at pastors.com)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Discuss what you believe this local church could conceivably achieve in the next 5 years.

2. What level of finances would it take to accomplish that vision?

3. Where will that finance actually come from?

4. What i God’s purpose in our giving?

5. Can God actually bless you in your giving so that at the end of the giving period you have more even though you have given?

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