HOME   |
  40 DAY Campaigns for Churches or Communities   |

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

HOME | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

Return to Top of Page | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

Practical Advice about Giving

By Brian Kluth, Pastor and Founder of www.MAXIMUMgenerosity.org, www.GenerousLife.info, www.GiveWithJoy.org

Here is some practical advice for people who have questions, doubts or fears about giving to the Lord’s work.

  1. If you are NOT a Christian: Don’t worry about giving to God. Instead, realize and accept what God wants to give to you -- complete forgiveness, a brand new start, the power to be good and to do good for others, help for your problems, the ability to forgive, and a home in heaven. If you recognize your need for these things, pray and invite Jesus Christ to bring these things into your life.

  2. For all Christians: Always make it a priority to faithfully support the work of your local church first. Then give special gifts and offerings to other Christian causes, projects, missions or the needy as God leads you.

  3. If you’re fearful about giving 10% or more of your income to the Lord, try a 90-day test: In Malachi 3:10 God invites people to “test Him” in the matter of tithing (giving the first 10% of your income to God’s work). Therefore, I encourage people to try a 90-day test. Begin giving 10% of your income to the Lord’s work and watch and see if God does not begin working in your life in ways you haven’t previously experienced. If you regret that decision OR if you feel you never experienced God’s divine help in your finances during this time period, then discontinue the test. However, if you experience God’s help, joyfully continue giving 10% or more to the Lord’s work.

  4. If you want to begin to actively give to God FIRST: Here are four different ideas to choose from:  (1) Whenever you get any money, set aside 10% or more to give as the Lord directs.  (2) Whenever you put a deposit in your checkbook, write out the first check(s) to God’s work for 10% or more. (3) If you track your finances through a bookkeeping system or computer program, set up a category for church giving and another one for other Christian causes. Then begin to faithfully set aside 10% or more of your income into these accounts. (4) If you like to handle your finances electronically, consider using www.networkforgood.org or the electronic giving option from your church (if available) to faithfully give 10% or more to the Lord.

  5. If you are married to a Christian, but the two of you do not agree on how much you should give to the Lord’s work: See if your spouse will read through this material and/or listen to some of the internet messages at www.MAXIMUMgenerosity.org or this website. Then talk and pray together about a mutually agreeable “testing period” concerning your giving 10% or more.

  6. If you are married and your spouse is not a Christian: Identify any money you have freedom to spend (read Luke 8:3) and set aside 10% or more of this money to give to the Lord’s work AN D/OR show this material to your spouse and see if you can try the 90-day testing period.

  7. If you are deciding whether to give off the gross or the net of your income: Pray and ask God what He wants you to do. If He prompts you in your heart to give off the gross amount, go ahead and do this, trusting Him with the results. If you don’t have a peace about this, begin giving 10% off the net amount for a few months and see what happens. After a few months, if you experience God’s creative care in your life, then begin to give 10% or more off of your gross income.

  8. If you’re wondering about how much to give to your church and how much to give to other places: A good practice I have used is to give 10% of my main source of income to my local church (i.e. my main income goes to support the work of my main source of Christian fellowship and teaching). Then, I use 10% or more of all other incomes sources and unexpected blessings to help fund other Christian needs and opportunities that God brings into my life.

  9. If you have children at home: Help your children set up a place where they can set aside “God’s portion” of any money they receive (i.e., allowances, work projects, gifts of money, etc.). Have them give at church, to missions, and/or to help people in need.

  10. If you have “fallen behind” in your giving to God’s work: If you knowingly or accidentally have fallen behind in your giving to God’s work, you will never regret the decision to “get right” in this area. Review your financial records from the past several months and pray about “making up” the amount you have fallen behind. One elderly lady in her 90’s I heard about sent a tithe check to the church office with the note, “I want to be prayed up, paid up, and ready to go!”

© Brian Kluth www.GiveWithJoy..org

Return to Top of Page | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

WEEK #2 ARTICLE

Return to Top of Page | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

Count Your Blessings

A pathway to more joyful and generous giving and living

By Brian Kluth, Pastor and Founder of www.MAXIMUMgenerosity.org, www.GenerousLife.info, www.GiveWithJoy.org

 A number of years ago, I discovered a wonderful verse in I Corinthians 16:2, “On the first day of each week let each of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper.”

At first, I didn’t understand how the verse could apply to my life. But my wife and I began a Sunday evening practice of “looking back and writing down” how God provided for us in the previous seven days. Each week, we discovered there were many ways that God provided for us outside of our normal income. We began giving 10% of my main income to our local church and we then started a “Blessings Fund” that represented 10% or more of the myriad of blessings God creatively brought into our life week by week.

At the end of the first year, even though my main income only brought in $15,000; I discovered we had given $1500 to our local church and an additional $2500 out of our “Blessings Fund” to other Christian causes.  This meant that God had blessed us with $25,000 of blessings during the past year that was over and above my $15,000 salary!

We did this for several more years and discovered that each year God doubled and tripled what we were able and willing to give to the Lord’s work because we counted our blessings. Here are the lessons we learned and practiced that helped us live a more joyful and generous life:

  1. Plan a time each week where you will begin to write down God’s provisions from the previous week in a “Blessings Notebook.”

  1. When you meet together, think back over the following areas and write down anything that comes to your remembrance:

Main Income? If you were paid during the week, write down that amount. For us, we gave 10% of this amount to our local church.

Additional Income or Unexpected Cash? Write down any cash gifts, overtime pay, bonuses, second salary, moonlighting, investment  returns, sale of any possession, refunds, inheritance, etc.

People’s Hospitality? Meals, lodging, or entertainment that others gave to you or paid the cost.

Special Help or Assistance? Help with car, house, equipment repairs, free babysitting, etc.

Discount or Sale Items? Any money saved on discounted clothing or household items, garage sale/thrift shop savings, discounts  on recreational activities, etc.

Purchase of New Possessions? When my wife and I were buying a major item or a luxury item, we sometimes included the cost of these items in our blessings fund in order to give an additional 10% or more to the Lord’s work.

  1. Write down the financial value for each item OR (very important) write down the amount you WOULD HAVE BEEN WILLING TO SPEND for the item. For example: A family member gave me a $1000 radial arm saw. I would have never been able or willing to afford a $1000 tool like this, but I might have “been willing to spend” $200 on a used radial arm saw at a garage sale. So, in this example, I put down the value of the blessing at $200 (not $1000). Therefore I ended up giving an extra $20 to the Lord’s work, not an extra $100.

  1. Add up the value of the total number of blessing items for the week and  take 10% or more of the total and decide where to give it OR set aside  the week’s amount in your notebook or put the money in a special place  or account and consider this your “BLESSINGS FUND”.

  1. Faithfully give your church 10% or more of your main income. Then begin to joyfully and generously use your “Blessings Fund” to help support missions, missionaries, special projects and needs, building programs, the needy, Christian workers and organizations.

4-Week Challenge:

I am confident that the LORD has been blessing most people’s lives week by week. But most people don’t “see” the blessings because they don’t take time to “look back over the last seven days to see what God has done to provide for them.” Because of this, I challenge you to try this for at least four weeks to see what God is doing for you! I believe it will truly lead you to a more joyful and generous life!

Return to Top of Page | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

WEEK #3 ARTICLE

Return to Top of Page | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

10 Biblical Reasons to Give 10% OR MORE

of Your Income to the Lord’s Work

By Brian Kluth, Pastor and Founder of www.MAXIMUMgenerosity.org, www.GenerousLife.info, www.GiveWithJoy.org

As materialism and consumerism have continually infiltrated our lives in recent decades, many people have drifted from any biblical moorings concerning their Christian giving. Here are 10 biblically-based reasons to make giving 10% or more of your income your highest financial priority in life.

1. It is a proven pattern of giving done by Christ followers for many generations. In 1899, a bibliography was compiled of books related to systematic Christian giving. There were over 500 books listed in this bibliography from over 100 years ago, and yet many Christians today do not understand the importance of faithful giving.

Scriptures: Genesis 14:17-20, 28:16-22, Leviticus 27:30, Proverbs 3:9-10, Malachi 3:7-15, Matthew 23:23

2. It will help you reverence God more in your life. If you showed me your check book records, I would be able to quickly tell you who or what you feel is important. By giving the best of what you have been given to God, you are expressing your allegiance to Him and you will grow in your respect for the Lord and His working in your life.

Scriptures: Deuteronomy 14:23, Malachi 1:6-8

3. It will bring God’s wisdom and order to your finances. If I get dressed in the morning and get the first button out of place on my shirt, all the rest of the buttons will be messed up. When it comes to finances, the first button to get in place is your giving. When you get this area in order, everything else follows. Giving is also the only known antidote for “affluenza” (the desire for more things) that permeates our world today.

Scriptures: Matthew 6:19-21, 24-34; Luke 12:16-21, I Timothy 6:6-10, 17-19; Ecclesiastes 5:10

4. It will serve as a practical reminder that God is the Owner of everything in your life. By faithfully giving the Lord 10% or more of all you ever receive, you are actively acknowledging His ownership in your life. As someone once told me, “God owns it all and God loans it all.” We are not owners, only temporary possessors and managers of what God entrusts to us during our lifetime.

Scriptures: I Chronicles 29:11-18, Psalm 24:1-2, 50:10-12, Haggai 2:8

5. It will allow you to experience God’s creative provisions. One of the most amazing things about learning to faithfully give to the Lord is the joy so many people have experienced in receiving unexpected blessings in their lives. When you acknowledge God’s ownership through your generous giving, you begin to experience His creative provisions in amazing ways.

Scriptures: I Kings 17, Proverbs 3:9-10, Malachi 3:7-15, Haggai 1:4-11, 2:15-19; Luke 6:38, Deuteronomy 28, Philippians 4:15-19, Mark 12:41-44

6. It will encourage your spiritual growth and trust in God. There will be times when you will decide to be a faithful giver of what is in your hand, even when you have no idea how you will make it through the coming day, week, or month. But by going ahead and giving to God, your trust in the Lord will grow and you will grow in your ability to see Him provide.

Scriptures: Deuteronomy 14:23, Proverbs 3:5-6, Malachi 3:8-10, Haggai 1:4-11, 2:15-19; 2 Corinthians 8:5

7. It will ensure you of treasure in heaven. Jesus encourages you to store up treasure in heaven. The only way to do this is to live generously now. Someone once said, “We can’t take it with us, but we can send it on ahead.”

Scriptures: I Timothy 6:18-19, Matthew 6:19-21, Hebrews 6:10, III John 8, I Samuel 30:22

8. It will strengthen the work of your local church. Many churches struggle for lack of finances. However, when people in a congregation gain a vision for being faithful givers to God at their local church, the whole spirit of a church begins to change -- needs are met, people are cared for, more outreach begins to take place, and long-awaited improvements start to happen. God-given momentum builds as people honor the Lord through their giving at church.

Scriptures: Acts 2:42-47, 4:32; 2 Corinthians 9:12, 13

9. It will help provide the means to keep your pastor(s) and missionaries in full-time Christian service. It has always been God’s plan that his servants are taken care of by his people. Across America and the world, many pastors and missionaries are struggling financially or are even leaving the ministry because of a lack of adequate finances. Your faithful giving can make sure this doesn’t happen among the pastors or missionaries you know.

Scriptures: I Corinthians 9:9-11,14; I Timothy 5:17-18, III John 5-8, Philemon 4:15-19, Galatians 6:6, Luke 8:3, II Kings 4:8-10

10. It will help accomplish needed building projects and renovations.  Some of the most exciting times in the life of a church or ministry occur when facilities are being improved or expanded. But for building projects to succeed, large extraordinary gifts are needed. Building projects only happen well with special gifts that are “above and beyond” people’s normal giving.

Scriptures: 2 Chronicles 24:4-14, Exodus 35,36; II Kings 12:2-16, Ezra 1:4-6, I Chronicles 29:2-19

© Brian Kluth www.GiveWithJoy.org

Return to Top of Page | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 

WEEK #4 ARTICLE

Return to Top of Page | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

God’s Creative Provisions

Experiencing God as Your Provider

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. Psalm 24:1

By Brian Kluth, Pastor and Founder of www.MAXIMUMgenerosity.org, www.GenerousLife.info, www.GiveWithJoy.org

One of the most amazing discoveries you will make as you begin to more faithfully and generously give to God’s work at your church and beyond, is that God will begin to show himself as your provider in unique and creative ways.

While I am not an advocate of the prosperity gospel and the health and wealth religion promoted by some TV evangelists, I have seen that people who honor God in their giving experience God’s blessings in a variety of ways. Since the Bible clearly teaches that God owns EVERYTHING, He can be very creative in how He goes about providing for your needs.

Scriptures that have shaped my understanding and experience of God’s creative provisions include:

• Proverbs 13:22 A sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.

• Ecclesiastes 2:26 To the sinner, God gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.

• Job 27:16-17 Evil people may have all the money in the world, and they may store away mounds of clothing. But the righteous will wear that clothing.

• Isaiah 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places.

In these verses and in my experience of walking with the Lord, I have seen that He often “transfers the ownership” of specifically needed items without cost or at significant savings to faithful givers.

Many people think that their needs are met through their paycheck, and not necessarily from God. While God may use a person’s wages to provide for many needs, God is so much bigger than a paycheck! A company may be your employer, but God is your true provider.

I encourage you to pray and ask God to lead you to His provisions to meet your needs. The Lord may choose to use your current income, savings, increased income, or He may lead you to the very item you need without cost or at a significant savings.

Some ways I have seen the Lord creatively provide beyond a regular paycheck include:

Needed items provided through friends, relatives, neighbors, or other Christians: As people move through the different seasons of life, they often have possessions they no longer need. They are often willing to give away or sell items at significant savings to someone they know could use them.

Inheritances, bonuses, and scholarships: I have known of people that have been totally surprised by amounts of money they have unexpectedly received from relatives, employers, or educational institutions.

Retail stores and manufacturers: In today’s tight retail economy, there are many sales that will allow you to experience 40-90% off through sales, clearance racks, overruns, returns, floor models, and demo merchandise.

Bankruptcies, estate sales, repossessions, and auctions: While you have to know the market value ahead of time, these outlets for merchandise, vehicles, housing, etc. can be great sources for God-given provisions.

Government: There are many ways a government program can be used by God to directly benefit someone.

Consignment shops, thrift shops, and garage sales: Often you can get quality or functional merchandise for 50-95% off the retail price through these sources.

As you become more of a faithful and generous giver, be sure to pray about God’s provision for your own needs, and don’t be surprised at the creative ways He may supply for you! 

© Brian Kluth www.MAXIMUMgenerosity.org

Return to Top of Page | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

WEEK #5 ARTICLE

Return to Top of Page | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

Excel in the Grace of Giving

Crossing "lines in the sand" to give more generously

Wherever you are in your journey to a more generous life, God wants to take you further!

By Brian Kluth, Pastor and Founder of www.MAXIMUMgenerosity.org, www.GenerousLife.info, www.GiveWithJoy.org

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 8:7, “Just as you excel in everything…see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” I have discovered that the Lord will draw a new line in the sand for each of us to cross over in order to live more generously and to experience Him more fully. Every step of the way, God calls us to consider the resources He has placed in our hands. Then, He invites us to release them for His work and to trust Him to be our provider. At each point, we may find ourselves fearful and want to hold on to what we have instead of letting it go and trusting God with our needs. In my life, these lines in the sand to become more generous have included the following:

Giving more than I thought I could afford to give  As a young man who had recently come to a personal faith in Jesus Christ, I was prompted in my heart during a church service to put a $20 bill in the offering plate. Prior to that time, I had never given more than a few dollars. As I wrestled with this prompting, I contemplated putting the $20 bill in and taking out change! Ultimately, with a shaking hand, I gave the $20 (without taking change) and in the next few days I experienced God’s peace and provision in such a way that I did not regret giving that amount.

Giving even while I was in debt  There was a season in my life when my bills had piled up so high that I had more month than I had money! It was during this time that I was prompted in my heart to start giving 10% of my income to the Lord. This didn’t make sense to me since I didn’t have enough money to pay my bills and take care of my needs every month. But I decided to trust God and cross over this new line in the sand to live and give more generously. The next time I received a paycheck, the first check I wrote (hesitantly) was a check for 10% to the Lord’s work. As I continued to do this, I noticed that I was not as foolish with my money, I had a greater trust in God to provide for my needs, and I began to make progress in paying off my debts. I also joined a Crown Financial Ministries Bible study (www.crown.org) and learned how to prayerfully develop a spending plan to help me get out of debt completely within a few years.

Giving a large gift that was worth half a year’s salary  As a young couple, my wife and I were prompted to sacrificially give a gift from our savings account to help a Christian ministry. At the time, this five-figure gift was worth more than a half a year’s salary. As we prayed and discussed this giving opportunity, we decided to write a list of all the things we would be giving up if we gave this gift. We prayed and decided that this was a new line in the sand that God was calling us to cross. Again, with a bit of a shaking hand, I wrote the check. A few years later, we found the list we had written and we were amazed to discover that God had graciously and unexpectedly provided for every item on the list that we thought we had given up. Through this experience we learned that you can never out give God. Another time, the Lord led us to give another gift that was equal to a year’s salary.

Giving increased offerings by “Counting Our Blessings” For years, we would sit down on Sunday nights with a pencil and notebook and list the ways God had provided for us over the last seven days (e.g., my main income, my wife’s substitute teaching income, unexpected financial income/ gifts, discounts on purchases, hospitality/help we experienced, and more). Based on what we recorded, we would give 10% of my expected salary to our church and give 10% or more of the other financial blessings to other Christian causes and needs.

Giving more by limiting our lifestyle There was a season in our lives when we were making more than we ever dreamed possible. During this time, we felt God’s new line in the sand for us was to limit our lifestyle spending so we could increase our giving. We decided that we would limit our lifestyle spending to a specific annual amount and that ALL monies received over this amount would be given 100% to the Lord’s work. To do this, we opened up two different checking accounts. The first check book was for our living expenses (a set amount each month) and the other check book was for our increased giving. God ultimately used this decision and allowed us to not only increase our giving, but also for me to accept a Senior Pastor position at a salary that was 65% less than we were making.

Giving more by giving higher percentages of our income From this booklet, you see that I believe that giving 10% to the Lord’s work is the starting blocks and not the finish line of faithful biblical giving. In my own life and in the lives of generous people I’ve known, I’ve learned that by giving 10%, it is much easier to obey God’s promptings and learn to give higher percentages of income and assets to the Lord’s work in the future.

What about you? What “line in the sand” is God calling you to cross at this time in order for you to live a more generous life and excel in the grace of giving?                                                                                         © Brian Kluth www.MAXIMUMgenerosity.org

Return to Top of Page | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

WEEK #6 ARTICLE

Return to Top of Page | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

Practical Tips for Godly Lifestyle Adjustments

R Check those that are good reminders for you:

o Live simply and within your means.  1 Timothy 6:6-8

o Do not covet the possessions of others. Ephesians 5:30

o Follow this wise advice: “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”

o When considering making a purchase, ask yourself: “Do I really need this?”

o Learn to discern between your needs and your wants. 1 Timothy 6:8-10, Hebrews 13:5

o Examine your home for evidence of hoarding.  Luke 12:18

o Give away anything that owns you.  Matthew 19:21

o Do not fall for commercial advertising – shop wisely based on good counsel.  Proverbs 11:14

o Avoid fads; stick with the classics that are always in style.  Colossians 2:8, Romans 12:1-2

o Analyze the cost of seemingly small expenditures, such as eating out, buying brand name clothing, etc. These purchases can add up to substantial sums of money.  Proverbs 27:23-24

o In making major purchases, be sure to shop around, compare prices, gain knowledge, and get at least three prices or bids before making your final decision.  Proverbs 24:4-5

o Actively deaccumulate by going through your closets, drawers, storage spaces, garage, basement, etc.  Matthew 6:19-20

o Be willing to pray before making special purchases. Give God the opportunity to lead you or provide for you in an unexpected but more affordable way.  1 Peter 5:7

o Be willing to purchase or use pre-owned items. Oftentimes you can save substantial  money by getting what someone else previously paid full price for.  Job 27:16, Proverbs 13:22

ADAPTED BY PERMISSION OF HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL IN ROLLING MEADOWS, IL.

Return to Top of Page | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6

 

Refer This Site To A Friend