Giving Ladder

We must always remember there is much more to generosity than just a financial transaction. In God’s eyes, our growth in generosity is less about a financial transaction and more about a transformation. It is truly a matter of the heart! Our GENERATIONS journey can help us think about this transformation.

Make no mistake; to move along this path requires a heart change. Moving along the path does not make us super Christians; it brings us to a greater understanding of God, not a greater view of ourselves. As you look and think about this journey, ask yourself, “What drives me to be generous?”

Extravagant Giver

Extravagant Giver (1 Timothy 6:6-19) Giving above the tithe — You can ask God to guide you into a new place of joyous generosity.

Tithing Giver

Tithing Giver (2 Samuel 24:18-25) Giving 10% faithfully — You can go the next step and give extravagantly for the Kingdom.

Intentional Giver

Intentional Giver (Luke 14:28-35) Giving regularly, but less than 10% — You can step up to honor God with your first 10%.

Emerging Giver

Emerging Giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-8) Occasionally giving — You can take the next step to give intentionally and proportionally.

Initial Giver

Initial Giver (2 Corinthians 8:7-15) Not yet giving — You can take your first step and emerge into giving.

How to Make a Pledge

Jesus says what we say and do should honor God. Saying we believe in God and giving Him thanks is certainly showing honor, but we must take action.

If You're Single

  1. Pray, asking God to place an amount on your heart to give to GENERATIONS.
  2. Ask yourself what amount of money:
    • You would desire to give
    • You could believe God to provide for you to give
  3. Next, assume for a few days you were to give the amount of money you’ve arrived at and then ask yourself these questions:
    • Am I joyous about giving this amount?
    • Is my gift sacrificial?
    • Am I demonstrating an expression of faith?
    • Am I convinced I can give this amount with a motivation of worshiping God?

If you can answer “Yes” to all these questions, then you can feel comfortable about your gift amount. If you can’t honestly answer “Yes” to all four questions, run through steps 1-2 again until you’re comfortable with your answers in step 3.

If You're Married

  1. Pray, as individuals and as a couple, asking God to place an amount on your heart to give to GENERATIONS.
  2. Individually, ask yourself what amount of money:
    • You would desire to give
    • You could believe God to provide for you to give
  3. Next, assume for a few days you were to give the amount of money you’ve arrived at and then ask yourself these questions:
    • Am I joyous about giving this amount?
    • Is my gift sacrificial?
    • Am I demonstrating an expression of faith?
    • Am I convinced I can give this amount with a motivation of worshiping God?
Now, get together and share your gift amounts. If you each came up with a different amount, repeat steps 1-3 and see if there’s an agreement when you get together the second time. If you weren’t able to reach an agreement on a pledge value after a reasonable amount of time, choose the lower number as your gift.

Ways to Give

Church-building projects, like GENERATIONS, rely on church members making gifts over and above their current level of giving to the operating budget needs of the church. The best path to increased giving is the spiritual path, where we set our hearts on things above. Financial priorities then take shape from spiritual priorities.

One way of defining this is “lifestyle stewardship,” a term used to describe a level of giving that affects one’s living. Always with us is the temptation to give in such a way that it makes little impact on how we live. The challenge of lifestyle stewardship is to boldly and prayerfully find ways to do just that – to let our giving touch our living!

King David declared, “I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing,” (2 Samuel 24:24 NIV). David understood the value of the gift presented to God is determined by its value to the giver. The greater the gift’s value and significance to the giver, the greater its worth before the Heavenly Father. This is the spirit of lifestyle stewardship. “If it is for my God, my gift must have meaning and value to me.”

Lifestyle stewardship is a level of giving that affects me: my plans, my activities, my attitude, and my approach to life. It means giving up something in one area so I can give more of myself in another. Many Christians have been amazed at how much more they can give after going through this process.

Lifestyle Stewardship Helpful Steps

Priority Budgeting

Lifestyle stewardship is a level of giving that affects me: my plans, my activities, my attitude, and my approach to life. It means giving up something in one area so I can give more of myself in another. Many Christians have been amazed at how much more they can give after going through this process.

Redirect Present Expenditures

Often, families have significant short-term expenditures for special needs. One example is the large expenditure a family incurs for a child to attend college. If the child is graduating during the giving period of the GENERATIONS project, you might consider factoring that into your pledge amount. Another example would be the cash flow that is freed up when a loan is paid off, such as a car loan or something similar.

Increased Income, Increased Giving

Some people receive periodic increases in salary or bonuses from their employers. The temptation for many of us is to increase our lifestyle to fit the higher income. In lieu of that, you might consider committing all or part of salary increases to GENERATIONS.

Appreciated Assets

Many people own securities that have achieved unrealized gains in value over the years. That is good news. The bad news is if these assets were sold, a significant portion of the gain would be lost to taxation.

Gifts of appreciated assets — typically investment securities or real estate — can be very advantageous to both the donor and the church. By transferring ownership of the asset to the church, the donor avoids income taxes on the sale of the asset. Unlike gifts of cash that have already incurred an income tax, gifts of appreciated assets avoid the incurrence of capital gain tax. In addition, the donor receives an income tax charitable deduction for the full market value of the asset. That, in effect, makes these gifts less costly to make.

GIFTS OF UNAPPRECIATED ASSETS AVOID THE INCURRENCE OF CAPITAL GAINS TAX.

Importantly, before making a commitment of this type, please consult your CPA, tax attorney, or other financial advisor.

Planning Your Giving

Giving does not have to be in equal increments over the three-year period of the campaign. You might be able to give more in the third year than the first two. As you think about your financial commitment to the campaign, think not of just your potential to give right now, but also of your potential to give in the future. It might be you can make a three-year commitment in which you give 20% in the first year, 30% the second year, and 50% in the third.

Questions to Consider

What difference can my financial commitment to GENERATIONS make in my heart and life?

Am I willing to pray for God’s guidance in how He might want to work through me in Huntsville?

Am I thinking in a way that is easy and effortless, or challenging and requiring more discipline to be selfless in response to this vision?

Can I order my financial priorities to better reflect the order of what I really love?

How might my gift change me and allow me to invest myself more meaningfully in this vision for FBC and our community?

What things can I afford, but am intentionally choosing to live without because I am committing to give sacrificially?

What assets and resources could I use as a gift beyond my income?

Am I discovering a new joy in giving through this process?

How is this commitment demonstrating my expression of faith?

Am I thinking creatively about a comprehensive giving plan that represents what I am capable of giving?

Ways You Can Give

For our church to reach its financial goal, we will need commitments in varying amounts. Please consider your commitment in proportion to your resources. These commitments are for 3 years, over and above your current giving.